Student selected to join NSW parliament
WATCH out state politicians, next month Richmond River High School student Seth-Taylor Smith, 17, will join 99 other talented youngsters as a member of the student Constitutional Convention in NSW Parliament.
Seth was chosen after submitting a one-page response to the question of whether Section 44 of the Australian Constitution is appropriate for contemporary Australia.
His discussion of whether our elected representatives should be eligible to hold public office if they have dual citizenship earned him a spot at the one-day convention which is part of a national program for Year 11 students to consider issues relating to the Australian Constitution.
Seth who lives in Dunoon said he was surprised and thrilled to learn he made the cut and will be part of 100 strong group of students chosen from thousands across the state to sit in the in October.
"I was nominated to go the student constitution to discuss section 44," he said.
"I think the High Court took a very literal interpretation of the issue."
Seth said if he was in power, he would put in a clause where foreign allegiance was not equated to dual citizenship.
"Australia's strength is that we are such multi-cultural society," he said.
"But at the moment under current legislation 50 per cent of the population is ineligible to sit for parliament."
Seth said he could have achieved this honour without the amazing teachers who are prepared to go the extra mile for their students.
Legal studies teacher Dale Stevenson said Seth had been in his mock trial cohort and had excelled at cross-examination.
He said all secondary NSW schools were asked to nominate one Year 11 student who will then be required to submit an application to attend the convention and Seth's was a stand-out.
"Seth has come a long way and engages with issues very well," he said.
"In a mock trial I would not want to be on the other end of his questioning."
School principal Mary-Jane Pell who will accompany Seth to Sydney said the whole school was behind him and took pride in his achievements.
"We are incredibly proud of Seth," she said.