Student councillors meet with Mayor

Student councillors meet with Mayor

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Student councillors
Mayor Ruth Butterfield in the council chambers with Harrisdale SHS student councillors. Photograph – Richard Polden.

Student councillors from Harrisdale Senior High School got a taste of what it takes to keep the City of Armadale running last Thursday, when they spent the day touring its facilities with some of its top brass.

The contingent of Year 7 councillors, led by Year 7 Coordinator Shane Auguste, began the day with a visit to the City’s Administration Building, the Perth Hills Armadale Visitor Centre and the Bert Tyler Museum.

Then it came time to rub shoulders with the big wigs, when Deputy Mayor Kerry Busby welcomed them into the Council Chambers for an audience with City of Armadale Mayor Ruth Butterfield.

Mimicking the standing orders of a council meeting, student councillors occupied seats ordinarily taken by elected members as the mayor explained the roles, responsibilities and requirements of Council.

The mayor then suspended standing orders to allow some free-flowing discussion and questions.

“We have 435 students in Year 7, and 16 homerooms, which means we have 16 student councillors each representing a homeroom,” Mr Auguste said.

“It was a fantastic day. Our students were highly engaged and behaved excellently. This was definitely a core memory for all.

“Our councillor leaders saw and spoke to successful people who are role models within our community – they thought it was inspiring.”

According to Mr Auguste, the roles taken on by these student leaders in the schoolyard reflect many aspects of the role of an elected councillor.

“Most of these guys did a speech in their homeroom and were voted by their peers to be student councillors,” Mr Auguste said.

“We meet weekly, for about 20 minutes, and they come to me with any concerns, they are like my eyes and ears on the ground, I rely on these guys a lot.”

From what Mayor Ruth Butterfield said about the students, it seems the inspiration went both ways.

“It was a real pleasure to welcome the student councillors from Harrisdale Senior High School to the city and spend time with them discussing leadership and team work,” the mayor said.

“The students were thoughtful, articulate and eager to make the most of the excursion.

“It was wonderful to have the students share their experiences, bravely ask questions and seek answers that will help them navigate their leadership journey.”

Students left the Council Chambers after a visit from Armadale Police Sergeant Rimmer, and finished their excursion with a tour of the History House Museum.