Country Education Partnership’s (CEP) National Rural Youth Ambassadors have come together for the last time to celebrate their year spent sharing the experience of rural education with key education stakeholders.
The Rural Youth Ambassadors from all states (NSW, Victoria, South Australia and Northern Territory) met online with the Federal Minister for Education, Alan Tudge, and the Minister for Regional Services, Bridget McKenzie, during November where they explored a range of areas impacting on rural education with the two Ministers.
The Rural Youth Ambassadors across the country spoke about similar issues: their experience of remote learning, access to a broad education program, mental health provision, after school opportunities, access to pathway information and teacher shortages. Solutions such as sharing teachers and mental health resources across nearby schools were discussed.
At a state level, the Rural Youth Ambassadors from Victoria came together in Melbourne on the 1st – 3rd of December. They met with David Howes and Stephen Fraser from the Department of Education and spent a day recording their ideas with a videographer from Torrens University.
Rural Youth Ambassadors from South Australia came together for the final time in Adelaide on the 6th – 8th December. They met with Gary Costello, advisor to the South Australian Minister for Education and Department of Education CEO Rick Persse.
Rural Youth Ambassadors living in NSW will come together for the final time online on Monday 13th December.
Throughout the year, each group met with the state Education Ministers to express their concerns and unique solutions to improve education for rural students. The Ministers were very receptive to the Ambassadors ideas and the Ambassadors are keen to continue working with the Ministers and their teams.
Mount Gambier based RYAs discuss their education needs.
RYAs meeting in South Australia.
THE LAUNCH OF LOCAL RURAL YOUTH AMBASSADORS
CEP has started their Local Rural Youth Ambassador forums during the second half of this year. LRYA forums have come about from the success of state based Rural Youth Ambassador forums.
Staff travelled to Myrtleford, Swifts Creek, Orbost, Edenhope, Sea Lake and Mount Gambier to deliver a Youth Ambassador forum tailored to the needs and wants of both communities, as well as meet online with Rural Youth Ambassadors from the Grampians.
In Edenhope, Rural Youth Ambassadors came together from Edenhope, Goroke and Balmoral Colleges to discuss how their schools could collaborate. They spent the day developing a project plan with an ambition to establish an ongoing ambassador program among the three schools. The focus of this program will be on supporting student mental health and wellbeing, expanding senior secondary study opportunities, the provision of collaborative sporting and social events, and diversifying post-school pathways for all students. The day culminated with these enterprising ambassadors presenting their big ideas to the Principal group, who were very enthusiastic about working with students and staff in 2022 and beyond on these admirable goals.
In Mount Gambier, the Rural Inspire staff worked with a select group of students from year 8-12 to discuss student voice in their school. The challenges and advantages of the Mount Gambier community were identified. The students then workshopped creative solutions to address the issues they had recognised. One such solution was working with students and school leaders to create school values that students identified with and could own. The day concluded with the students creating an action plan for implementing student voice in their school. The action plan will be presented to their school leaders prior to the end of the year.
There are plans to work with rural and remote clusters around Australia to help inspire rural young people everywhere to achieve their dreams.
West Wimmera Group discuss collaboration.
RYAs took in some of the sights in Adelaide.
Enjoying some down time.