Student vision on display in Parliament Prize

Students from Viewbank Primary, MacKillop Catholic Regional College and Scotch College have taken out the top honours in this year’s Parliament Prize, awarded by the Victorian Parliament to students who recorded a 90-second ‘Member’s Statement’ on a topic of their choice.

A record 748 students entered the prize, representing 186 schools across Victoria (up from 589 students and 113 schools last year).

Children’s rights and protections was one of the most popular topics, along with education, Indigenous issues, mental health, homelessness, racism, pollution and the impact of COVID-19.

“It was brilliant to see Victorian students speaking with such passion and commitment on the many critical issues facing our community today,” said Colin Brooks, Speaker of the Legislative Assembly.

“I’ve no doubt we’ve seen some young people who could make fantastic future Members of Parliament.”

Cash prizes have been awarded to the winning entries and to each first-placed student’s school, to be used to promote civics and citizenship and law-related education.

Avah Hadjigeorgiou, from Viewbank Primary School, Elodie Beaudry of Genazzano FCJ College and Clara Hall of Footscray West Primary School took out the first, second and third prizes for grades five and six.

The top three entries in the years seven to nine category were Joann Manoj Jacob of MacKillop Catholic Regional College, Ravin Desai from Camberwell Grammar School and Fiona Finch of Ivanhoe Girls’ Grammar School.

Scotch College’s Ben Garson won the years 10 to 12 category, with Abbey Walsh from Aquinas College and Mohammad Daghagheleh of Glenroy College taking out the second and third prizes.

The Alicia Katz Award for an inspiring contribution by a school and named in honour of the first woman to stand as a candidate in a Victorian parliamentary election was won by Woodford Primary School.

The judging panel included three Members of Parliament, Jordan Crugnale, Brad Rowswell and Andy Meddick, as well as members of Parliament’s education advisory panel and tour guides who conduct parliamentary education programs.

“We are grateful to all the students who put so much effort into the competition, and to their teachers and parents who encouraged and supported them,” said Nazih Elasmar, President of the Legislative Council.

“Hearing the voices of young Victorians speak up on the issues they are passionate about provides inspiration for all of us.”

The winning videos can be viewed at the Parliament of Victoria’s website.


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