Hi, I’m Maansi and I’m a year 10 student. This week I had the pleasure to do work experience at Michael Pettersson’s Office in the ACT Legislative Assembly. I started on the 25th of September 2023 and finished on the 29th of September 2023.
You might be wondering why any teenager would give up their first week of school holidays to do work experience at the Legislative Assembly? Quite recently, I heard about the Voice and did many weeks of continuous research until I knew almost everything about it. I found it so unfair that after everything Indigenous people have suffered, some people are still hesitant to allow them something as simple as a Voice. So, when I saw the work experience for the Legislative Assembly on the “StudyWorkGrow” website, I applied straight away, so I could learn more. Now I’m going to talk about what I did as a work experience student with Michael Pettersson and his team during this week.
September 25th, 2023:
Today was my first day as a work experience student in the office of Michael Pettersson MLA. I was introduced to Jasmine Dickinson (my supervisor) and Michael Pettersson. When going up to the office, I learned about everything that Michael and his team do. Michael after gave me a tour of the Legislative Assembly, which included the chamber and the offices of everyone in the Legislative Assembly. While on this tour, I was told all about the government and the roles of everyone in it. After I was asked to write a speech for the sitting day late October.
September 26th, 2023:
I chose to write my speech on getting to net zero by 2050. At 11am, there was a Voice barbeque held by
the Minister for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Affairs, Rachel Stephen-Smith in front of the Legislative Assembly. A special guest speaker, Amar Singh made a speech about why you should vote yes. He’s not indigenous, but he’s a person of colour who has faced many of the same experiences.
September 27th, 2023:
Today I continued writing my speech on net zero. I was asked by Michael and Jasmine and if I wanted to sit in on a practice interview about Michael's ACT Neurodiveristy Strategy motion. Beforehand, I was given time to research about it and get to know what the interview was going to be about. I got to sit the practice interview, which I found fascinating, as I got to see how members of government prep for an interview with a journalist.
September 28th, 2023:
I started the day researching some candidates who are running in the election for 2025. Later that morning, I sat in on a meeting with Michael Pettersson and Exit ACT. The meeting was about Voluntary Assisted Dying (VAD) and how the legislative system is dealing with that issue in the ACT. After lunch, I attended a tour of the temple construction site in Taylor, with Jasmine and Michael, as well as Andrew Leigh MP and Andrew Giles MP. It was a Hindu temple, which reminded me a lot of the havelis in India.
September 29th, 2023:
Today I finished writing my speech on net zero by 2050. I went and bought some flowers and chocolates for my Michael Pettersson’s Office, to thank them for showing me and teaching me everything politics.
While I was at the Legislative Assembly, I learned a lot about politics. I learnt how important decisions are made and the roles of everyone in this building. My time here has opened my eyes and made me really interested in politics. I came here to learn about what politicians are doing in terms of the Voice referendum and I got my answer. I was so happy to know the behind the scenes of everything you see in TV. My time here has made me even more passionate about the upcoming referendum and I will do whatever I can to increase the number of yes votes. Thank you for having me, Michael Pettersson, Jasmine Dickinson, Aggi Court, Harry Danton-Jack and everyone who made my time here memorable.