Programs



Our education programs aim to promote an understanding and appreciation of the role and significance of the Legislative Assembly to ACT citizens and visitors. Programs are offered to all ACT citizens, community groups, school, vocational education and university students and teachers, public servants and parliamentary and governmental delegations.Specific programs are also conducted annually for ACT students, teachers, public servants and the community.

Programs cater for short 30 minute visits to full day programs. Sessions are generally held at the Legislative Assembly. If your group is unable to visit us, we may be able to bring the program to you (dependent on selected program, staffing commitments and available resources).

All programs, except for public sector seminars, are free of charge.

Please contact the Manager, Education and Engagement to discuss your specific requirements.

Phone: (02) 62053016

Email: laeducation@parliament.act.gov.au

Venue information

Our visit page offers a comprehensive overview of the Assembly as a venue, location and site safety for visiting groups. It also includes a model risk assessment for school excursions.

Print version venue and safety information for visiting groups (MS Word, 205KB) (PDF, 197KB).

General Programs

Design your own learning experience by selecting from the range of general program offerings outlined below. The Assembly's education team can assist you in tailoring a session to suit your group requirements.

Book a visit

Know your Assembly

Suitable for: all age groups

Duration: 30 minutes - 1 hour

This program introduces participants to Assembly – history of our legislature, how the Assembly operates and what members do. This program can include a tour of the building and a visit to the chamber to explain the unique nature of the Assembly. The program varies dependent on if it is a sitting or non-sitting week and is tailored to suit age of visitors in the group.

Member Q&A

Suitable for: all age groups

Duration: 30 minutes

Gives participants an opportunity to meet the Members of the Legislative Assembly (MLAs). In this session the audience are invited to ask MLAs questions about their role as parliamentarians, why they stood for office, what they do in their daily work, or to discuss current issues before the Assembly. If you wish to discuss a specific issue a list of questions should be forwarded to education staff prior to the visit.

Mock Hare-Clark election

Suitable for: 9 years (school year 4) and up

Duration: 1 hour

Participants take part in an election, taking on the roles of voters and polling officials with mock candidates and electorates. A perfect way to learn about the Hare-Clark electoral system used in ACT elections.

Delivered in conjunction with Elections ACT. Visit their website to download resources to help you run your own Hare-Clark election.

Question time

Suitable for: 10 years (school year 5) and up

Duration: 45 minutes

Sit in the public gallery to observe members during question time, one of the mechanisms of accountability in a parliament. Arrive early for a short session providing an overview of the chamber and then watch question time from 2.00pm.

*only available on sitting days

Role plays

Suitable for: 8 years (school year 3) and up

Duration: 30 minutes - 1 hour

Role plays are offered to demonstrate the work of members in both the parliamentary chamber and the committee inquiry system.

Chamber role play

Participants take on the roles of the Speaker, Clerks, ministers and members as our educators guide you through an accurate recreation of sitting day protocols including the ceremonial placement of the mace in the chamber.

Select your debate:

  • a motion - a proposal is presented, debated and voted upon;
  • a matter of public importance (MPI) - present speeches on a common topic; or
  • the passage of a bill - debate and vote on a mock bill

* available on non-sitting days only

Committee inquiry role play

Guided by our educators participants take on the roles of the committee members and witnesses to experience the committee inquiry process. Learn how the community can have a voice to inform policy and law-making in the ACT.

School parliament

Suitable for: Kindergarten to year 12

Duration: 1 hour

Students participate in a role play for a model of a school parliament sitting. Participants take on roles as the Speaker, Chief Minister, minsters, Leader of the Opposition and members in a typical sitting session. Teachers are provided with an information resource that supports the operation of the model in the school.

* available on non-sitting days only

Work placements

Placement opportunities are offered for:

  • school and vocational education students undertaking a school or vocational (CIT) work experience program
  • university students completing programs with an internship requirement.

School students usually undertake work experience for one week in an MLA's office. Other placements are by negotiation depending on the requirements of the program in which the student is enrolled.

Please note that while placements are offered not all requests may be met and are dependent on the workload of MLAs in the time period requested.

If students are interested in work placements at the Assembly, please contact the Manager, Education and Engagements to discuss the possibility of a future placement.

Tour the building

Anyone is welcome to join one of our free public tours of the Assembly building. Tours run every Wednesday at 1.00pm from the Assembly foyer and take between 45 – 60 minutes.

The tour takes you behind the scenes, offering an insight into the running of Australia's youngest parliament. Highlights include visiting the committee rooms, seeing items of the Assembly art collection, and experiencing the gravitas of the debating chamber.

On sitting Wednesdays, tours will conclude in the chamber at 1.55pm with the option of continuing on to watch question time. When is the next sitting Wednesday?

Bookings for individuals or small groups are not required. If you have a medium to large group, we may be able to run a dedicated tour. Booking enquiries.

Event-based programs

Annual programs are conducted by the education team for school students, public sector workers and the general community.

Interschool parliamentary debates

Program for: Year 7-12 students

Duration: 1 school day (9 am to 3 pm)

The Assembly runs five interschool parliamentary debates days each year for teams of four-to-six students from Years 7/8, 9/10 and 11/12.

The program is revised each year to reflect a broad range of current social issues, and aims to provide:

  • an introduction to the Assembly;
  • an experience of debating in the Westminster tradition;
  • the opportunity to practice public speaking skills in the formal setting of the chamber; and
  • knowledge and experience in working with parliamentary terminology and practices.

The debates are presided over by the Speaker of the ACT Legislative Assembly (or another member).

Places are limited. Schools wishing to participate should submit an expression of interest at the beginning of the school year.

ACT Schools Constitutional Convention

Program for: Year 11 students

Duration: 2 school days (9am to 3pm)

The ACT Schools' Constitutional Convention is targeted at Year 11 students and is held over two days in third term. It is organised by the Legislative Assembly for the ACT, Education Directorate, Museum of Australian Democracy, National Archives, Australian Electoral Commission, Elections ACT and Australian National University College of Law.

The program aim is to promote understanding and informed discussion about the Australian Constitution and the national system of government. They will listen to presentations, view historical documents, participate in role plays and discussion groups, and vote in a mock referendum on constitutional change.

Schools may enrol up to six students in this program and each year 5 students are selected to represent the ACT at the National Constitutional Convention the following year.

Professional learning for teachers

Program for: Accredited Teacher Quality Institute Program (TQI) 2020 graduate and proficient teacher career stages,

Duration: 3 hours

This 2020 TQI accredited professional learning program is aimed at helping teachers to increase their understanding of how the ACT Legislative Assembly works and how members are elected using the Hare-Clark electoral system. Primary, secondary and college teachers are welcome to attend this event. This program will not only increase participants' knowledge of the Assembly but will provide a useful teaching tool for those teachers who are engaged in teaching Civics and Citizenship programs. A certificate (record of attendance) will be provided to all participants.

Public sector seminars

Suitable for: ACT public sector staff

Duration: Half day (9.00 am - 12.30 pm)

Cost: $110.00 (inc. GST) for each participant.

Two half-day public sector seminars explore the responsibilities of ACT public sector staff in relation to the processes and practices of the Legislative Assembly for the ACT. The seminar examines the links between the public sector and the Assembly, role and function of the Assembly, a typical sitting day, the legislative process and the committee system. During the seminar participants are able to visit the chamber. The seminar will be repeated four times each year.

To book, please complete the public sector seminar registration form (Word 215 KB).

Community seminar - Your Assembly

Suitable for: 18 years and over

Duration: 1 day (9.30 am to 3.15 pm)

The ACT Legislative Assembly offers two tailored programs each year for the ACT community. The Your Assembly program aims to inform participants about the operation of the Assembly and the various roles that MLAs undertake. The program includes a mock Hare-Clark election, meet the members’ session, session on the importance of committees in the Assembly and visit to question time.

Program dates

2020 program dates

School programsDate
Interschool Parliamentary Debates 
Year 11 & 12 Cancelled
Year 9 & 10 Cancelled
Year 7 & 8 Cancelled
Year 9 & 10 Friday 7 August 2020 (suspended pending review)
Year 7 & 8 Friday 21 August 2020 (suspended pending review)
ACT Schools Constitutional Convention  Cancelled
Professional learning for teachers  Suspended until further notice
Public sector programsDate
Work of the Assembly- Seminar 2 Cancelled
Introduction to the Assembly- Seminar 3 Wednesday 2 September 2020 (suspended pending review)
Work of the Assembly - Seminar 4 Friday 20 November 2020 (suspended pending review)
Community programsDate
Your Assembly - Community seminar 1 Cancelled
Your Assembly - Community seminar 2 Wednesday 26 August 2020 (suspended pending review)