How do we balance the rights of individuals and the common good, particularly during a national emergency?
Is a Bill of Rights needed in Australia or are our current checks and balances enough to keep us safe from tyranny?
Do students in NSW know more about the Constitution of the United States than they do about the Australian Constitution?
These were just some of the complex and intelligent questions generated by Professor Anne Twomey’s keynote address at the 27th annual NSW Schools Constitutional Convention.
On Monday 8 November, the NSW Parliament’s Communication, Engagement and Education team hosted the 2021 NSW Schools Constitutional Convention. Over 400 Year 11 students participated in this online event which seeks to promote understanding and informed discussion among young Australians about the Australian Constitution and system of government.
The program was officially opened by The Honourable Matthew Mason Cox MLC, President of the NSW Legislative Council, after which participants heard an engaging and insightful talk about The Australian Constitution and Rights in a time of COVID by Professor Anne Twomey, Professor of Constitutional Law & Director, Constitutional Reform Unit, University of Sydney Law School.
Students who participated now have the opportunity to apply to be one of thirty NSW delegates to the National Schools Constitutional Convention, joining participants from States and Territories across Australia, in Canberra in early 2022.
The recording of Professor Twomey’s talk and the Q&A session that followed is available to watch in full: