Local Parliamentary Conventions 2021


Important update: Please be advised that all the VSPP local conventions hosted by the these secondary schools will not run in June and are postponed to term 3. If you and your students have registered to attend one of the local conventions, you will be notified by the school of their new date and it will be also updated on this website. For more information, please contact the schools directly.


The Victorian Students’ Parliamentary Program (VSPP) is a Victorian Department of Education and Training initiative that consists of a series of student conventions, which provide students with opportunities to learn about Australia's constitution and systems of government. Students learn through participation in informed, parliamentary style debates on a range of topics affecting Australia's democracy. Schools from all sectors can opt-into the program to support the teaching of civics and citizenship education in their school. 

Each year between April and June, up to eight secondary schools are selected to host a Local Parliamentary Convention as part of this program. The program is designed for students in years 10 to 12.

Each local convention involves exploration of a political question and culminates in a day of guest speakers, debate and a final vote on the chosen topic. The program provides the opportunity for schools to:

  • Further explore the civics and citizenship curriculum
  • Encourage student voice and provide students with the opportunity to express their views
  • Allow students to share their ideas and thoughts with students from other schools
  • Learn about topical issues from experts
  • Build partnerships with other schools.

All Secondary Schools are invited to be involved. The 2021 host are listed below. Please note that these local conventions have limited capacity, schools are asked to please contact the relevant host school directly to secure a place for their students.


Footscray High School, Footscray

Date: CANCELLED

Topic: The state we're in. Should Australia cut ties to the monarchy and become a republic?

Contact: Nicholas Price

Email: nicholas.price@education.vic.gov.au 


Lalor Secondary College

Date: CANCELLED

Venue: Plenty Ranges Arts and Convention Centre - 35 Ferres Boulevard, South Morang

Topic: Should there be exceptions to the presumptions of innocence in maintaining the rule of law in our criminal justice system?

Contact: Peter Leos and Sam Kotsopoulos

 Email: peter.leos@education.vic.gov.au and Sam.Kotsopoulos@education.vic.gov.au 


Leibler Yavneh College, Elsternwick

Date: CANCELLED

Venue: 2 Nagle Avenue, Elsternwick

Topic: Should model embryos enjoy the same protection as real ones?

Contact: Sonia Slonim

Email: s.slonim@yavneh.vic.edu.au or sonia.slonim@gmail.com


Mater Christi College, Belgrave

Date: CANCELLED

Topic: Guiding contention: That compulsory voting is anti-democratic and should be removed

Contact: James Bakker

Email: bakker_j@materchristi.edu.au 


Sunbury College, Sunbury

Date: Term 4 date to be confirmed

Topic: The way we currently change the Constitution is out of date and needs to be fixed

Contact: Antony Monteleone

Email: antony.monteleone@education.vic.gov.au 


Reservoir High School, Reservoir

Date: Wednesday 13 October 2021 (new term 4 date)

Topic: Is social media the main reason for our current social dilemma?

Contact: Jodie Purches

Email: jodie.purches@education.vic.gov.au 


Scotch College, Hawthorn

Date: Monday 17 May 2021

Topic: State border closures. Should the division of powers be reconsidered in favour of the federal government rather than the states?

Contact: Michele Linossier

Email: Michele.Linossier@scotch.vic.edu.au 


Toorak College, Mt. Eliza

Date: Tuesday 18 May 2021

Topic: Age of criminal responsibility

Contact: Rebecca Culnane

Email: rebeccac@toorakc.vic.edu.au 


ABOUT THE VICTORIAN PARLIAMENTARY PROGRAM

The Victorian Students’ Parliamentary Program (VSPP) provides opportunities throughout the year for students and their schools to engage in immersive Civics and Citizenship activities aimed at improving students’ understanding of parliamentary processes.

National Curriculum Services (NCS) is contracted by the Victorian Department of Education and Training (DET) to deliver the VSPP. One component of the program is the Local Parliamentary Conventions.

Local Parliamentary Conventions 

Each year between April and June, DET provides funding ($1,000 each) and the opportunity for up to eight secondary schools to host a Local Parliamentary Convention as part of VSPP. Each convention involves exploration of a political question and culminates in a day of guest speakers, debate and a final vote on the chosen topic. Schools are encouraged to invite other local schools to participate on the day.

The program provides the opportunity for schools to –

  • Further explore the civics and citizenship curriculum
  • Encourage student voice and provide students with the opportunity to express their views
  • Allow students to share their ideas and thoughts with students from other schools
  • Learn about topical issues from experts
  • Build partnerships with other schools

Funding available

Each host school is provided with a grant of $1,000 to assist them in organising the local convention.

Expectations of Host School

Selected host schools will need to undertake the following –

  • Select an appropriate topic that complements the Victorian Civics and Citizenship Curriculum. Some previous topics that have been addressed include – 
    • Does Australia still need a Head of State?
    • Should we continue to celebrate nationhood in the 21st Century and if so, how and on what date?
    • Freedom of speech versus hate speech. Where should the legal and social lines be drawn?
    • Should the Australian Constitution be amended to include a Bill of Human Rights?
  • Organise program, venue (usually at your school), speakers and relevant stimulus material for the convention. NCS will assist you with this process.
  • Invite other local schools to attend with maximum numbers of students around 120-150 (subject to health requirements and social distancing).
  • Conduct the local convention during April – June 2021.

Schools who are open to delivering a hybrid model (online and in person) to enable rural and regional students to join their convention virtually, will be viewed favourably and should indicate this on their application.

Please note, the ability for schools to meet face-to-face is subject to current medical advice at the time. Schools who would also be able to deliver the convention online or through a hybrid model (online and in person) if required due to reintroduction of COVID-19 restrictions, would be favourably viewed.

NCS will work with schools to assist in the delivery of local conventions on the day and in developing their program.  

Should you have any queries please contact Christine Reid or Nancy Mai on 03 9415 1299 or christine.reid@ncsonline.com.au or nancy.mai@ncsonline.com.au


The Victorian Students’ Parliamentary Program
 is supported by the
 Victorian Government