Congratulations to Cape York Leaders Program Academic Leader Secondary student, Joel Johnson, who has been selected to attend the 20th National School Constitutional Convention in Canberra next week.

A media release published by his school, The Cathedral School in Townsville, is as follows.

Year 12 student, Joel Johnson, has been selected as a delegate to attend the 20th National School Constitutional Convention (NSCC) in Canberra on 24 – 26 March 2015.

Joel was one of 18 students from the region who delivered a prepared speech at the North Queensland Schools Constitutional Convention for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students addressing the topic: An Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Perspective on A Bill of Rights for Australia: Constitutional, statutory or not at all?

The North Queensland Convention held last month involved almost 80 Indigenous Senior students from high schools in Mackay, Bowen, Home Hill, Ayr, Charters Towers and Townsville. All students attending the convention listened to a five minute speech delivered from each school and then cast their votes to select delegates to the NSCC.  The Australian Electoral Commission supervised the voting process.

The topic of the National Convention is Checks and balances: do we need an Australian Bill of Rights? And will be held in iconic Canberra locations such as Parliament House and The Museum of Australian Democracy at Old Parliament House.

Joel Johnson at work experience in Brisbane in 2014

Joel Johnson at work experience in Brisbane last year

“I’m really looking forward to attending the Convention but I’m also very nervous as there will be a lot of high profile people in attendance such as the Prime Minister, Ministers and High Commissioners” said Joel.

Joel is interested in studying law in Brisbane when he finishes school at the end of this year, “Last year I was lucky enough to do a week of Work Experience in Brisbane with Nathan Jarro (a well-known indigenous Queensland Barrister), it was really inspiring and this Convention is another great opportunity for me to learn more about the industry and to get a better understanding.”

Joel is one of three students who were selected to travel to Canberra next week; the other two students will travel from Ingham State High and St Teresa’s College, Abergowrie.