Secretary for a Day

Secretary for a Day is a key initiative of Education Week, engaging secondary students from across NSW.

About Secretary for a Day

Secretary for a Day is an opportunity for secondary students to learn about key portfolio areas in the department as well as shadow senior officers, attend meetings and participate in operations of state office.

Video – Secretary for a Day 2018 Highlights

Duration – 1:29

Transcript for Secretary for a Day 2018 Highlights video.

What to expect

Video – What surprised you about Secretary for a Day?

Duration – 00:45

Transcript for What surprised you about Secretary for a Day? video.

Selected students are matched with a senior executive officer to experience the operations of state office in Sydney. They participate in workshops and forum discussions with fellow students as well as some pre- and post-event activities, including discussion via video-conference. Through follow up activities, students are encouraged to share and develop their learning from the event with others locally.

Areas previously participating in Secretary for a Day include:

  • Aboriginal Education and Communities – Provides advice, leadership and support about Commonwealth and state directions, policies and priorities related to Aboriginal education
  • Connected Communities – Addresses the needs of Aboriginal students living in complex and diverse communities, by working with Aboriginal leaders in the local community to help improve education outcomes
  • Disability, Learning and Support – Provides advice on state directions, policies and priorities, strengthens partnership with external agencies and leads the implementation of the Every Student, Every School: Learning and support
  • Early Learning and Primary Education – Provides support and advice for curriculum, planning, assessment and reporting for students Preschool to Year 6
  • Leadership and High Performance – Leads the development of high quality leadership and professional practice to enhance the performance of schools
  • Learning and Business Systems – Advises on technology developments and innovations and provides support for web-based support services, applications and tools to enhance teaching and learning
  • Legal Services – Represents the Department of Education in courts and tribunals and also gives independent legal support and advice to department staff
  • Media – Liaises with external media to promote public education in NSW and keeps the Minister's Office informed of media issues from metropolitan and regional media
  • External Relations Policy – Promotes advice and policy making across education from the early years to post-school training and higher education
  • School Policy and  Information Management – Provides schools with professional support, systems and frameworks to streamline operations relating to policy development, planning, reporting, compliance and data analysis to improve teaching and learning for all students
  • Schools Finance – Allocates funds to schools and provides financial advice and training to school staff
  • Student Engagement and Interagency Partnerships – Develops policy and supports the implementation of programs to promote health and wellbeing, positive relationships and resilience of every student, including vulnerable and at-risk students.

For division profiles and a full organisation chart, visit Our people and structure.

How to apply

Video – Should I apply for Secretary for a Day?

Duration – 00:37

Transcript for Should I apply for Secretary for a Day? video.

Schools may submit up to two student expressions of interest (EOI) and all applications are considered for Secretary for a Day as well as local Executive Officer for a Day opportunities where available.

Interested students and schools can contact for EOI form or further information.

What the 2018 participants had to say

Here's a selection of quotes from our student participants from the 2018 Secretary for a Day:

'Take this opportunity with both hands if you get this application – please!'

'Loved meeting a cohort of students who were interested in real-world issues, and were simultaneously passionate about public education like me.'

'Helped me improve on public speaking and my own personal confidence.'

'I am really grateful for the opportunity to meet so many influential people in public education who listened to us – and inspiring fellow students.'

'Such a great leadership experience. I’ll definitely be bringing back some of the ideas we’ve talked about to my school.'

'Because we are the future generation and we have such an important voice to be heard.'

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