Skip to Main Content

Charlotte finds her voice

Charlotte (Year 11) is speaking up about the issues that matter most to young people across the Northern Territory and Australia — and Education Ministers across the country are listening.

NEWS 24 Apr 2024

Charlotte, a Year 11 student at Haileybury Rendall School in Darwin, is a volunteer Surf Lifesaver and a helper at Darwin Wildlife Sanctuary. She is also one of a handful of students selected to join the National Student Voice (NSV) Council where she represents students in the Northern Territory.

The NSV Council brings together 32 state and Territory students from all sectors of schooling who meet with Education Ministers to discuss real issues impacting the education of young people today. It allows students, like Charlotte, to voice the thoughts and ideas of young people to help inform education policies and programs across Australia.

A new initiative, the Council took 12 months to develop with students and ministers meeting for the first time at the end of December 2023.

Charlotte will be part of the NSV Council until the end of 2025.

She brings some experience to the role having been a member of the inaugural NT Youth Voice Peak Group organised by the NT Department of Education.

“I felt that joining the National Student Voice Council would be really interesting, and a great way to share ideas and insights. I didn’t really expect to be chosen but I threw my name in the mix — it was a big surprise to me when I was successful”
Charlotte (Year 11)

“People within the Government’s education system bring their ideas and policies to the NSV Council, and we all provide feedback, talk about what we think might work well for young people and what might not work so well in different schools. We also discuss what might not be suitable and what kinds of things are missing that would be helpful.”

One of the first tasks for the young council members has been providing a submission in response to the Consultation Paper to assist the Review to Inform a Better and Fairer Education System.

The NSV Council has highlighted 10 key points including recognising there are different pathways to success beyond university and that vocational education, work placements and volunteering are valuable options. It also recommends creating different schools for students who need different learning support and that universities should look at more than just ATAR scores when admitting students.

Charlotte is passionate about finding ways to engage and keep students in education, as well as gender equality and ensuring students of all genders feel accepted and safe in schools.

Charlotte is also keen to raise awareness of the NSV Council and what it does among young people.

Later this year, Charlotte will join the other council members to meet Education Ministers from around Australia to ask them questions about issues they feel are important.

At HRS, Charlotte juggles her council responsibilities with studying VCE subjects: Outdoor Environmental Studies Units 3&4, Global Politics Units 1&2, Biology Units 1&2, Chemistry Units 1&2, English Units 1&2 and Maths Methods Units 3&4.

“I’m passionate about the environment and studying politics has linked to what I’ve been doing with the NT Youth Voice Peak Group and NSV Council. I also like broadening my scope with Global Politics and learning about issues going on in the world right now and how we can educate students about all that”
Charlotte (Year 11)

“Ultimately, I want a career that allows me to share my voice and help educate people about environmental issues.”

Outside of HRS, Charlotte is also a volunteer Surf Lifesaver and gives her time helping rescued animals at Darwin Wildlife Sanctuary.

“I love being out on the beach in nature and patrolling the beach to ensure people are safe. People love to come up and have a chat when they see you,” says Charlotte.

“Volunteering at the wildlife sanctuary, I’ve seen all different kinds of animals come in and it’s a nice feeling to know you can help them recover.”

Charlotte looks forward to working with fellow students to bring about changes that matter to young people during her tenure on the National Student Voice Council.