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Earlier this year in March I represented South Australia at the National Schools Constitutional Convention. The convention seeks to promote understanding and informed discussion amongst young Australians about the Australian Constitution and system of government.

The convention encourages young people to discuss political action that young Australians believe need to be made. The 120 students selected from across Australia were invited to discuss Section 44 of the constitution and whether it is still relevant to Australia. Section 44 of the Australian Constitution lists the grounds for disqualification on who may become a candidate for election to the Parliament of Australia.

The trip itself was quite enjoyable, with me and 11 other representatives touring Canberra, which included a visit to the War Memorial and Parliament House. We then took part in a political debate within the group with representatives from parliament such as Senator Simon Birmingham and Senator Penny Wong.

These debates took place at Old Parliament House, and progressive conclusions were made on Section 44 and recorded in Hansard for further reference in Question Time.

Although the political debate and learning about politics itself was quite enjoyable, the relationships I built are what I truly remember. Having valuable friendships with students from as close as Kingston, and in Melbourne is something I will remember for the rest of my life.

The experience was truly valuable for my learning, and I thank Mr Scott for allowing me to take part in the convention.

Connor Kitching (Year 12)