Education in politics
FORRESTFIELD Primary School students received an early lesson in local government politics after visiting the Kalamunda council chamber to take part in a mock student council meeting.
Students were nominated by teachers to sit in the seats and take on the roles of elected councillors. Blake Hill was appointed the first student Mayor of Kalamunda, with City staff members on hand to provide professional advice during the meeting.
On the agenda was for the young councillors to determine whether they would support the construction of a toilet block at the Forrestfield Skate Park.
The students had several scenarios presented to them by the officers that would ensure that a toilet block facility would be constructed.
One option was to exclude the provision of disability access toilets to reduce the cost and the environmental impact.
The students debated the merits of this proposal, with several raising the issues of fairness and inclusivity and having regard for the whole community.
After much debate, there was a proposal from the manager of asset services to postpone the planned construction of a BMX ramp and use those funds to build the toilet block.
The student Mayor put the motion to the acting councillors and they all voted in favour of it.
The visit was organised by Year 4/5 Forrestfield Primary School teacher Dylan O’Connor, who is also a councillor.
“Learning about the three levels of government is part of the curriculum,” he said.
“To be able to give the students a rich learning experience that is relevant to them as skate park users is certainly a more effective way for students to learn about local government and apply their knowledge in a real context.”
The City is also arranging a mock council meeting for interested members of the community on September 5.
Forrestfield Primary School Year 4 student Casey Slater at the City of Kalamunda council chambers.