In VCAL this term, we are learning about the Australian Government and the preferential voting system. As a class, we are putting the preferential voting system into action, giving the Year 8s the opportunity to vote for an exclusive food event hosted by the VCAL students. Each of us is promoting a different food event, such as “Dazzling Donut Party”, “Pizza Day” or “Pie Party”. We are going to promote our campaign at the Year 8 assembly, where we will present our concept and following this, the Year 8s will vote, by preference, for which option they want to win.
We have created a ballot paper, and assembled a voting stand and ballot box to simulate an authentic polling booth. We will conduct the election using secret ballot, and once all the Year 8s have voted, we will count the votes and distribute the preferences until we have an absolute majority, which is more than 50% of the vote. That way we know which is the most preferred option of the majority of the students. We are looking forward to hosting the event for the students later in the term.

Bridie B. (MFTA) - Year 12 VCAL student

One of the core elements of the VCAL program is to help students become active citizens who understand and value their participation in a democratic society. The upcoming federal election has provided the ideal context to explore the Australian political system, the parliamentary structure, the different parties and their policies, and how the government is formed. The students now know which electorate they belong to, who represents them at present, and how our preferential voting system will determine who will win their seat in federal parliament in this election.

Of course, there is no better way to understand our voting system and the logistics of an election than through an authentic real-life experience. The VCAL students have enjoyed putting together their own campaigns for the Year 8 exclusive food fest and preparing for the election. They will no doubt have fun conducting the election, counting the votes using the preferential voting system, and planning and hosting the winning event for the lucky Year 8 students!

Ms Helen Hamblin
VCAL Coordinator