2023 is the fifth year of the Commissioner’s Student Voice Postcard initiative. Postcard packs are being distributed to 623 SA primary and combined schools for students in Years 2 – 6 from the start of Term 3.

As in previous years, children aged 8 – 12 years are invited to respond to a set of four questions set by their Commissioner.
This year the Commissioner is asking students to tell her what the best thing about being a kid is, what they want grownups to know, what they think makes a good friend, and what they think would make South Australia better for kids?

Last year a total of 16,007 postcards were received from 336 Government, Catholic and Independent schools. Of these, 84 schools participated for the first time, while 67 ‘Champion’ schools have now participated across all four years since the initiative began in 2019.

Participating in Postcards is an exercise in student voice and agency, which we know has a positive impact on students’ self-worth and engagement with their learning. By running the initiative annually, the Commissioner is building a greater understanding of what South Australian children in this age group want and need.

“My team and I review the postcards we receive and draw out common themes. We analyse these in depth and compile our findings into a short report, which is released the following year. The report is distributed to all school Principals as well as to key government and community policy and decision makers working with children and young people or delivering services to them.”

This year, instead of the initiative being run over Terms 3 and 4it will only run in Term 3. This is based on feedback received from teachers who felt Term 4 was always a very busy term, and that it would be easier if the Postcards activity was confined to Term 3.  This means completed postcards need to be received by the Commissioner at the end of Term 3 (Friday 29 September) or shortly thereafter. Reminders will be sent closer to this day.

“My Student Voice Postcard initiative is a simple yet effective way for South Australian children to know that someone is listening to them. From the added messages children write to me, to the occasional messages of support I receive from Educators, I know it is an approach that works. Children find it fun and engaging, and value the affirmation their views and perspectives receive.”
Commissioner for Children and Young People SA, Helen Connolly

The Things That Matter 4 report can be downloaded here.