Secretary for a Day

Secretary for a Day is an exciting opportunity for high school students to come together from across the state to learn about the workings of the department, and through workshops and conversations, explore the Education Week theme.

About Secretary for a Day

Over two days in Sydney, students will learn about the workings of the department and be part of teams to workshop key projects with the NSW Department of Education senior executive through a student voice engagement experience.

There will be opportunities for students to share their insights and experiences in facilitated conversations, and to contribute their ideas in co-design workshops with their peers and with senior executives of the department.

Video – Secretary for a Day 2018 Highlights

Duration – 1:29

Transcript for Secretary for a Day 2018 Highlights.

What to expect

In the lead-up to Education Week, the selected students will participate in two pre-event video conferences and local school-based activities, in preparation for Secretary for a Day activities.

During Education Week, the students will spend two days at the department’s Phillip Street office in Parramatta and be invited to stay overnight in supervised accommodation in Sydney. The students will participate in workshops and forum discussions, sharing their insights and experiences and connecting with like-minded students.

A feature of this year’s event will be the student voice engagement experience, when students will join teams and partner with senior executive and leaders to workshop key NSW Department of Education projects.

After Secretary for a Day, the post-event activities will support students to continue discussions and collaborate via video-conference and online chat forums. They will be encouraged to share and develop their learnings through follow-up activities with their school community during Terms 3 and 4.

Video – What surprised you about Secretary for a Day?

Duration – 00:45

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

Who is this for?

Secretary for a Day is a free program. Students in Years 9, 10 and 11 attending a NSW public school are encouraged to apply.

Please note that support is available for students who may need assistance to access this program. Contact us if you would like to know more. Email

How to apply

Students should complete an expression of interest (EOI) form (DOCX 138.44KB) and return it to their school principal for their endorsement.

Each school may submit up to two EOIs. All applications will be considered for Secretary for a Day as well as local Executive Officer for a Day opportunities where available.

The closing date for applications is Friday 17 May 2019

Successful applicants will be notified early in Term 2.

Video – Should I apply for Secretary for a Day?

Duration – 00:37

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

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.'

Need more information?

Contact for more details.

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