Eden Marine High School captains Jack Webster and Paddy O’Rourke got a taste of a day in the life of a politician during a trip to Sydney’s Parliament House last month.
The experience left one school captain with something to think about.
The trip is an annual event undertaken by the school leaders, who had the opportunity to meet Her Excellency Professor The Honourable Marie Bashir, AC CVO Governor of New South Wales, and parliamentary officials, including Member for Bega Andrew Constance.
The pair also had the opportunity to meet other school leaders from across NSW, and share ideas.
First on the itinerary was a trip to the NSW Parliament, where they saw both the upper and lower houses, with the added bonus of being able to see parliament in session.
Jack Webster says the opportunity to watch politicians go about their daily tasks was a real eye-opener.
“It’s definitely opened my eyes to the possibilities because I’ve never really considered it, but I can imagine it (politics) being a fulfilling career option,” he said.
“It’s another possibility; I’m looking more into engineering and I’m hoping to go to uni and study at Wollongong, but it shows that there are more options available.
“If you’re interested in politics, the trip would be perfect; it gives you a really good insight into their jobs and provides you with a bit of background to make sure you know what you want to do.”
After a quick lesson in political history, Jack and Paddy joined journalists in the media room, where they caught a glimpse of the role the media plays in state politics.
Among the highlights for Jack were meeting with Member for Bega and new state Treasurer Andrew Constance, who discussed his new role with the students.
They also joined the remainder of the 120 students in attendance in a walk through the Botanical Gardens to Government House, where they received a tour and met NSW Governor Marie Bashir.
“It was pretty flat out most of the time,” Jack said.
“Andrew Constance was busy organising his budget, so he couldn’t talk for long, but it was interesting to hear what he does every day at work.”
When asked if he had the power to change anything locally, Jack said he would probably cut down the budget, but that he is mainly happy with the current state government.
But the day wasn’t all serious, with the students also treated to exquisite gourmet food and fine dining throughout the day.
At the end of their Sydney experience, Jack and Paddy caught the train back to the airport, where the boys found entertainment in Paddy’s attempts to use a vending machine.
“He just couldn’t figure out how to use it,” Jack laughed.
“It took him about five minutes just to get a can of Coke; it was hysterically funny.
“Most of the day was quite interesting, but because it was such a long day, we were pretty tired by the end.
“But it was really enjoyable and we had a few fun times with Paddy too.”