On the second week back of the term, the 2011 school captains and vice captains represented Cheso at the annual Leadership Day held at NSW Parliament House. It was an event that gathered student leaders from many high schools across the Sydney South-West region. The activities of the day included: touring Parliament House, gaining leadership advice from local MP's, and learning about parliamentary systems (how laws are made, the voting system etc.) Also, Opposition leader Barry O'Farrell made a quick address and discussions were had about what goes on in the Legislative Council and Legislative assembly.
As always, the best activity was saved til last. After having lunch at NSW parliament House, we were invited over to Government House where we would have the privilege of meeting The Governor, Her Excellency Marie Bashir, and her husband Sir Nicholas Shehadie. As everyone approached the gates that bounded the castle-like building with it's perfectly cut grass, it was clear that whoever named the place "Government HOUSE" was being modest about its grandeur. And not surprisingly, the interior was incredible too: with its 18th century
English heritage, this building was like walking through a Jane Austen-era home: complete with a grand piano, ballroom and "drawing room" where women would "withdraw" to after mealtimes. After delighting in a warm, good-humoured address by the The Governor, everyone was invited to enjoy some afternoon tea on the patio that overlooked the beautiful garden and harbour. All students had the opportunity of speaking to the Governor, as well as smile for photos with Her Excellency. Undoubtedly, that was the highlight of the day!
Overall, despite neither of the Cheso leaders looking to pursue a career in Parliament, the Leadership day provided each of us with a greater insight of the importance of: listening to, and speaking to The People.