There is a first time for everything, and although the Murweh Shire Council members have all well and truly finished their schooling , yesterday, they went back.
“It’s our first time out of chamber, this is a very historical meeting,”
“We want to show you (the kids) what we do every month,” says Mayor Denis Cook.
The Council chambers were set up in the Charleville State High School library and all of the year groups took turns to sit in on the monthly meeting.
Bernie Matthews, Head of Department at CSHS, says it’s vital for the kids to have an understanding of how local government works.
“It’s imperative that we get experience outside of school, ”
“The Student Council is a good opportunity for the kids to be involved in, but today they got to see the processes actually involved with an official council,” he says.
The meeting came about after our year 9s studied a unit last term on geography, where they investigated the 2010 flood.
“We had a visit to the Historic House, where Mayor Denis Cook gave us a grand tour, we had a look at the levi banks, the issues behind it and that was wonderful – really hands on stuff,”
“After that, when I started planning this unit for the year 9s and 10s I said, democracy is action, so I spoke to CEO Neil Polglase, and we got it up and running,” says Mr Matthews.
As far as Mr Matthews is concerned, council meeting has not be held in a high school before, and it was a very unique experience for the kids.
“Particularly the year 9s and 10s were interested, because it’s all about the separation of power and parliament this term for them, so they got a lot out of it,”
“And for the younger ones it was just a bit of taste, just 20 minutes in the meeting, to see what it was like,” he says.
The kids were all attentive and asked plenty of questions to all members of Council, and Mr Matthews hopes this type of meeting will become a regular occurrence.