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Join a School Council for a rewarding volunteering experience

 Are you a parent new to Australia, thinking about how the education system works in Australia? Are you thinking of a way to contribute to the local community?

Joining the school council may be the answer for you. As a parent, you can bring your perspective to the school and if you can bring your knowledge in an area of expertise like Building, Finance, IT, HR or Education, or Event planning that would be great.

In 2019, when my son started school in Australia, I knew little about the education system here, having not attended school in Australia myself. I saw a call for nominations to the School Council I was keen to take up the opportunity. 

I really wanted to get involved in his education. By contributing to the school in this manner, saw a possibility of learning more about the education system here and doing a part for the community around me.

It has been a great learning experience for me in return for my time commitments.

So what is involved in volunteering as a parent member of the school council?

  • You need to be a parent of one or more children currently enrolled in the school. 
  •  You should be able to contribute to and understand the various reports around school policies, progress in various initiatives, and the school's annual reports.
  •  You should be able to commit about 4 hours per month to attend council meetings and any sub-committee meetings and to spend time understanding/contributing to the school.
  •  A willingness to learn, be open-minded, collaborate and communicate with the other councillors.

Where can you get help and more resources?

The Australian education system is a highly regulated environment. There are plenty of resources available from the State Govt with rules and regulations on how to conduct various activities, policy templates, guidelines and other ready-to-use materials. 

Because of this, as a new parent in the Council, answers to most of your questions are just a google search away. Your experienced fellow councillors and the school's staff will also help guide you to pick up information very quickly

As with any other large organisation, Dept. of Education and thereby, the school has a language of its own - Acronyms, terminologies etc.

With time and some patience, you will be able to learn the various terms and concepts and slowly and steadily increase your contributions.

I hope you try this opportunity and find it as rewarding as I did. 

Photo by Barry Zhou on Unsplash


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