Parliament and the people: A focus on committees

Parliament and the people

  • Wednesday 28 July 2021, 4:00 - 5:30 pm

  • Free online event (video extract available below)

  • Recommended for VCE Legal Studies teachers and students,
    especially those undertaking Unit 4 - Area of Study 2, Outcome 2

Join Parliamentary Committee Managers Yuki Simmonds and Patrick O’Brien for a special online discussion that will explore the role of committees in the law-making process, and provide insights on how individuals, organisations, courts and the media can influence and affect this process.

The first half of this free online event will be ideally suited to both teachers and students of VCE Legal Studies. Panellists will draw on current and recent examples from committees, discussing the reasons for law reform, the process of forming recommendations, and how committees enable Parliament’s ability to respond to law reform.

This will be followed by an interactive discussion for teachers. Facilitated by an expert VCE Legal Studies teacher, participants will reflect on key discussion points from the panel and explore how they relate to Legal Studies Unit 4 - Area of Study 2, Outcome 2. This session will aim to generate ideas about how examples from the panel discussion can be incorporated into the classroom and students’ assessments and exam preparations.

This highly informative session will take teachers and students outside of the textbook, providing current and recent examples of the committee process with perspectives and insights from Parliament of Victoria Committee Managers and an expert VCE Legal Studies teacher.

Acknowledgement of professional learning

As well as providing insights into the role of committees in the law-making process, this 1.5 hour session will contribute to teachers professional learning requirements for renewal of registration, particularly addressing Standard 7 from the Australian Professional Standards for Teachers.

Attendees will be provided with a certificate acknowledging their this session.


  • Patrick O'BrienPatrick O’Brien
    Senior Committee Manager, Legislative Council Standing Committees

    Patrick has been working with Victorian Parliamentary Committees since 2009. He served as a Research Officer for the Rural and Regional Committee for eight years before becoming a Committee Manager in 2017. During his career, he has worked on inquiries such as attracting and retaining young people in the agriculture sector and the inquiry into the medically supervised injecting centre in North Richmond. Patrick is currently investigating the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the tourism and events sectors.

  • Yuki SimmondsYuki Simmonds
    Committee Manager, Legislative Assembly Legal and Social Issues Committee

    Yuki Simmonds has worked in numerous roles in the Victorian public service over the past 20 years. She has managed various parliamentary committees relating to the areas of law reform, social policy, road safety and economic development, and currently manages the Legislative Assembly’s Legal and Social Issues Committee. Yuki has extensive policy and advocacy experience and is passionate about driving social change.

  • Adam Brodie-McKenzieAdam Brodie-McKenzie

    Learning Specialist in Student Agency at University HIgh School. Doctoral candidate at University of Melbourne.


The following video is a short extract from the professional learning session held on 23 July 2021