College News

Student Voice

St Mary’s College Ipswich is pleased to share that SMC student Caitlin Friend has been appointed a Brisbane Catholic Education (BCE) Student Voice Consultant for 2020.

BCE Student Voice Consultants are a team of students from Year 8 to 11 who are passionate about making positive changes in BCE schools. The team advocates for students to have a say in the decisions that impact their school experience, and guides​ the BCE Student Voice initiative​.  All BCE students from Years 8 to 11 are eligible to apply.

The application process involved a survey and written responses to several questions, which were considered by the BCE selection panel. There were several strong applicants this year.

Caitlin said she was very excited to be appointed. “After finding out, I immediately emailed Ms Hammond, the teacher who supported my application, to tell her the news,” she said.

Caitlin values her educational experience, and  believes it is important for students to have a say in this. “By including the voices of students, teachers will be able to improve their learning and teaching strategies to meet the individual needs of their students.”

The team will meet regularly during the school terms and the school holidays to action student voice priorities, and plan events which strengthen student voice, agency and participation in schools and across the wider BCE community. This year, the team have an added focus, advocating for student input into planning for Alternative Education Provisions given COVID-19.

Caitlin will need to prepare for each meeting by reading meeting agendas, minutes and other documents, respond to texts, emails and group posts, promote BCE initiatives within the school and advocate on strategic priorities. Despite the added workload, she is passionate, and committed to helping her fellow students. “Over the course of 2020, I hope to bring a stronger voice to the students of St Mary’s and to improve the educational experience for both the students and the teachers,” Caitlin said.

St Mary’ College Ipswich Assistant Principal Religious Education Tami Hammond was proud to support Caitlin’s application. “Caitlin’s dedication and commitment to both her academic and co-curricular endeavours is commendable,” Ms Hammond said. “Everything she tries, she gives her all to. Caitlin will be a wonderful advocate for her peers at St Mary’s College.”

The College looks forward to supporting Caitlin during her time as a Student Voice Consultant, and is confident she will lend a strong voice to the committee.