The Armenian National Committee of Australia Galstaun Government Program Returns

By ANC-AU | Saturday, 11 June 2022

SYDNEY: Senior students enrolled at everyday school, Galstaun College are participating in the Armenian National Committee of Australia’s Galstaun Government program over the next three weeks, which is part of the #ANCAUOutreach initiatives offered to introduce young Armenian-Australians to politics.

The program, first piloted in 2018, seeks to engage young Armenian-Australians in politics, provide them with a better understanding of the Australian political system and highlight the significant impact politics has on the day to day lives of Australian citizens, through practical workshops.

The program includes mock parliamentary debates on contemporary issues, mock federal elections including a leaders debate and campaigning, media role-play and more.

Galstaun Government returned after a two year COVID-19 enforced hiatus, and comprises weekly workshops throughout the month of June, guided by ANC-AU Political Affairs Director, Michael Kolokossian and Administrative Assistants from the office of the peak public affairs organisation of the Armenian-Australian community.

In their first session, Year 8 was divided into two major and several minor parties, which they themselves named, democratically elected their respective Leaders and Deputy Leaders, and formulated their parties’ key policy issues.

In the coming week, students will participate in a mock parliamentary debate and discuss ‘Should Galstaun College Introduce a Four-Day School Week?’. The format will give students a sense of how motions are debated and adopted in the Australian House of Representatives.

To reflect the most recent results of the 2022 Australian Federal Election,  the ANC-AU has introduced minor parties and independents into the mix, who will ultimately play a large role in determining which way the debate will sway.

The Galstaun Government program is also run for Year 9 and 10 students, who have similarly formed and named two political parties, elected their parties’ Leaders and Deputy Leaders themselves.

Each political party has a team of researchers formulating key policies they believe are important to the College students and campaigners who will be tasked with promoting each political parties agenda ahead of a major leaders debate and an election in front of the College’s high school cohort.

The Armenian National Committee of Australia thanked Galstaun College Principal Mr Edward Demirjian for facilitating the success of this unique program.

“We are excited to be back at Galstaun College. The students were extremely engaged and enthusiastically participated in the first workshop of the Galstaun Government program and we are looking forward to the next stages of the program,” said ANC-AU Political Affairs Director Michael Kolokossian.