On Monday 13 November 2023, I made a speech in Federal Parliament for Youth in Parliament Week 2023, reading out a speech written by three 15 year old Ryan constituents on fully funding our public schools. You can watch the full speech here or read the transcript below.
I'm very proud to deliver this speech by Ryan locals Kerstin, Manling, and Akshara, who are all 15 years old.
'In Australia, we believe that every student deserves the learning resources they need to thrive, but not every student is getting that chance. This is because of the current private-public school gap, which means that public schools are being deprived of adequate funding. Ninety-eight per cent of private schools are funded above the schooling resource standard, and more than 98 per cent of public schools are funded below it, even though the majority of students go to public schools. While private schools are able to afford new buildings and equipment, our school—a public school—couldn't even afford new books for the library last year. The money is going to the wrong place. We need to fix this.'
'We want to see our country give every student the ideal learning environment, an environment that will provide them with ample resources to flourish. If the government funds public schools more, our vision may become a reality. This change will benefit generations of learners to come. By giving every student in Australia equal opportunities, our country will prosper; by ignoring the majority, you are disadvantaging the potential leaders of tomorrow. Every student matters, right? So let's show them that they matter. Thank you.'