Meet Szonja Dobras-Vincze, from Year 9, who has been accepted, through a rigorous application process, to the NSW Education Minister’s Student Council!

Only 27 students from throughout NSW were selected as part of the inaugural Education Minister’s DOVES Council (Department of Student Voices in Education and Schools).

Szonja is one of only 3 delegates selected from the Metropolitan South and West Directorate, and will meet twice each term with the Minister for Education, fellow delegates and NSW Education stakeholders, providing direct input into education, school policy and current issues.

Last week, Szonja attended a three-day induction conference, which involved council discussion and talks with NSW Education Minister Sarah Mitchell.

Congratulations, Szonja – an amazing achievement. We look forward to following your leadership journey!

Here’s what Szonja had to say about her experience:

“The council was incredible! It was an amazing diverse group of people, yet we all found similar faults in the system, but for different reasons. We spent hours and hours discussing the issues, with different ministers and representatives as well as amongst ourselves.

On Wednesday, we visited Parliament and we were introduced to the Minister for Education for NSW (Sarah Mitchell). She was really lovely and incredibly open to hearing what we had to say. After the parliament visit, we went back to the Department of Education in Parramatta and discussed some policies and solutions. But by this point everyone was extremely exhausted because we had a very early start to the day.

Within the council there will be executive positions (chairperson, treasurer, secretary and publicity/communications officer). I applied for the publicity and communications officer position. We will be having a Zoom meeting where we present a small speech and vote on who will receive what role within the council.

My contract for the council will be for 2 year period. We will meet 3-4 times in a term over Zoom and have less regular face-to-face meetings, to be decided, as there are students coming from rural areas, so it’s harder for them to get to Sydney.

I am so incredibly grateful for this opportunity!”

We wish Szonja well, and may be witnessing a future Prime Minister in the making!

Lisa Edwards – Deputy Principal