INSPIRING Armidale Secondary College Year 10 student Nicole Tarrant has been named as one of 28 students from across the State selected to join the inaugural NSW Education Minister's Student Council.
The student council was born from the tumult of COVID-19 and a realisation by the State Government there was no formal avenue to access student views on the issue.
As a result, the Education Minister set about establishing the Department of Student Voices in Education and Schools (DOVES), to enable students to have direct input and influence on educational issues which affect them.
The aim of the council is to seek innovative student voice that designs, implements, and contributes to inclusive and positive change in the NSW education system.
After submitting a 1-minute video explaining how she would be an advocate for students, Nicole was then interviewed by two students already appointed to the council and asked to outline the three main traits she would bring: Nicole cited her ability to listen to others, her acceptance of diversity and the power to speak up.
The first meeting of DOVES took place last month at Parliament House. Follow up meetings will take place virtually twice a term, with the Minister invited to participate in the final term meeting.
Nicole said she was very excited to be an advocate for students in rural areas and looked forward to bringing a unique perspective to the council.
"My trip to Parramatta in May was a life-changing experience," Nicole said.
"It was really interesting to collaborate and share ideas with other keen students, communicating our passions and ideals.
"I was part of the 'rural north' directorate which focused on issues and advances/ improvements that are currently affecting government schools, especially in our area.
"I was honoured to bring a rural perspective to the intriguing discussions that took place. I cannot wait to see what the DOVES council has to offer for the future, and to be a voice for the millions of students throughout NSW."
Member for Northern Tablelands Adam Marshall congratulated Nicole on her appointment to the new council, which will guide future education and school policy in NSW.
"Nicole and her fellow students will represent a diverse range of views and advocate to improve education and innovation in the State's schools, Mr Marshall said.
"Nicole is an impressive, mature young woman who will be an excellent ambassador for our region on the council and a strong representative voice country students.
"I wish her every success and look forward to seeing the outcomes from the new council."
As required by the Minister, the DOVES may be asked for input into policy and current issues throughout the year.
DOVES forums will also be held at a regional/local level to ensure wider consultation and Nicole is keen to hear from students at ASC and in Armidale generally.
The DOVES council will meet virtually twice a term with the Minister invited to participate in the final term meeting.
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