Hello. I’m Helen Connolly, South Australia’s Commissioner for Children and Young People.
My role is to promote the rights, best interests and wellbeing of children and young people in South Australia.
Every year I run my Student Voice Postcard initiative as a way of providing primary school children with an opportunity to have their voices heard. I do this by asking every primary and combined (public, Catholic, independent and special education) school in South Australia to support their students to take part.
Students do this by responding to four questions based on the following four recurring themes:
- What is important to them…
- What aspirations they have…
- What they are worried about…and
- What they would change about their lives if they could?
The questions change slightly each year so that students who participated in previous years can do so again. No personal identifying data is collected.
The first three years of the postcard initiative have been very successful, with the following participation rates:
- 8,429 in 2019 from 239 SA Schools
- 8,379 in 2020 from 219 SA Schools (slight decline attributed to COVID-19)
- 13,868 in 2021 from 289 SA Schools
Now in its fourth year, I’m keen to take the project to the next level by encouraging even greater participation from primary and combined schools throughout SA.
There are two reports (The Things That Matter and The Things That Matter II) with the third to be released in July this year. They summarise what primary school children have told me matters to them most. Their responses will be used to help shape future policy by identifying priorities children themselves have helped to define through their direct input each year.
If you’re an educator at a primary or combined school in South Australia, you can get involved here.
If you’re a parent or carer, you could ask your child’s teacher or school to get involved.
If you know an educator at a school in SA, you could share news of this opportunity with them, and thereby help to amplify opportunities for student voice and agency.
Thank you in advance for your support.
Commissioner for Children and Young People, South Australia
Give your students a voice!
Download Postcard Pack Here