By Claire Ottaviano
SWAN View Senior High School’s youngest Parents and Citizens Association (P&C) president has taken the stand.
Jane Brook 18-year-old and 2019 school head boy Liam McCracken was put forward by members of the P&C to be not only the youngest but also the first president to head the committee in a decade.
Although at first surprised by the nomination, Mr McCracken said his experience at the school and his passion to see it thrive spurred his acceptance of the role.
“I do see my age as a positive,” he said.
“I feel like it allows for me to connect with the students more.
“I’m a familiar face, they’ve seen me in a leadership role at the school at their level and now I’m being the voice for the parents and the school community.”
He said he believed his relatability with students and the issues they faced, both in and out of school, made him a good candidate to speak on behalf of their best interests.
“There are problems a lot of schools have that I wouldn’t say are unique to Swan View in particular, but bullying is one,” he said.
“When I was head boy, the School Representative Council was working very hard to combat bullying.
“We’ve heard recently from members of the P&C that communication is also an issue, communication between students and parents, parents and teachers and teachers and students is one of the most important things to focus on right now.”
The former P&C ran from 1977 until 2010 when it merged with the school Council
Principal Dr George Sekulla said he was keen to see a P&C re-established at the school.
“Parental engagement is valuable in showing children that education is important, building their confidence and nurturing connections between home and school environments, all of which contribute to improving student’s educational outcomes and well-being,” he said.
“Successful parent and caregiver engagement has a positive effect on improving social and educational outcomes.”
As a former Head Boy, Dr Sekulla said Mr McCracken’s strong leadership and interpersonal skills would be an asset in his role as P&C president.
“He has a very good understanding about the culture of the school community and the needs of our students,” Dr Sekulla said.
“His experience at Swan View SHS is recent and relevant and will provide an important contribution to the decisions made.”