Premier's spirit of democracy

The annual Premier’s Spirit of Democracy (PSoD) Study Tour is for students in Years 9, 10 and 11. It explores the origins of democracy, building a deeper understanding of the influence that democracy has on contemporary Victorian and Australian society.

PSoD offers up to 22 students and up to four teacher chaperones the opportunity to take part in the two week study tour in Greece.

How can I get involved?

Students can apply to take part in the study tour through a written application process. Teacher chaperones can volunteer to take part through an expression of interest, which involves a written submission outlining a professional learning focus that is achieveable within the study tour context.

Student applications and teacher chaperone expressions of interest open annually, with successful student applicants and selected teacher chaperones travelling during Term 1 school holidays of the following year.

Eligibility criteria

Eligibility for students

To be eligible to participate in PSoD, you must:

  • be enrolled in Year 9, 10 or 11 of a Victorian government, Catholic or independent school at the time of application
  • be enrolled in Year 10, 11 or 12 of a Victorian government, Catholic or independent school at the time of travel
  • have parent/carer’s permission to participate in PSoD
  • have the Principal/Principal delegate support to participate in PSoD
  • be an Australian or New Zealand citizen or be a permanent resident of Australia
  • have or be able to obtain a passport by 1 March of the study tour travel year, which is valid for more than six months at the time of travel. NOTE: Passport costs are at the applicant’s expense
  • have or will be able to successfully apply for visas (if required) to participate in the study tour. NOTE: Visa costs are at the applicant’s expense.

If successful, you are prepared to:

  • agree to comply with the Student Code of Conduct Guidelines and participate in pre and post travel briefings
  • share the learnings and insights gained from your PSoD experience with the school community or as a representative of PSoD.

 

Eligibility for teacher chaperones

To be eligible for selection in PSoD, you must:

  • be employed by a Victorian government, Catholic or independent school at the time of expressing interest
  • be employed by a Victorian government, Catholic or independent school at the time of travel
  • have the Principal/Principal delegate support to participate in PSoD
  • be an Australian or New Zealand citizen or be a permanent resident of Australia
  • have or be able to obtain a passport by 1 March of the study tour travel year, which is valid for more than six months at the time of travel. NOTE: Passport costs are at the applicant’s expense
  • have or will be able to successfully apply for visas (if required) to participate in the study tour. NOTE: Visa costs are at the applicant’s expense
  • have a minimum of five years secondary school experience, preferably in a leadership role, such as a year level coordinator
  • have experience in accompanying and supervising students on outdoor activities and excursions; preferably having accompanied student groups on multi-day excursions
  • have a current first aid certificate, including training for anaphylaxis
  • have a level of intercultural capability and a willingness to embrace new experiences
  • aspire to student-centred teaching practice, preferably with existing experience in relevant curriculum areas.

If successful, you are prepared to:

  • agree to comply with the Teacher Code of Conduct Guidelines and have Principal/Principal delegate support to participate in pre and post travel briefings
  • share the learnings and insights gained from your PSoD experience with the school community or as a representative of PSoD.

If shortlisted, you may be invited to attend a short interview with a panel of government, Catholic and independent school representatives

Find out more about the 2019-2020 Premier’s Spirit of Democracy or email spirit.of.democracy@edumail.vic.gov.au

Apply for the 2019-20 study tour

Student applications

Applications must be submitted by Thursday 12 December 2019. Successful applicants will be notified in early February 2020. The tour will take place during Term 1 school holidays 2020.

See the promotional poster 2019-20 Premier's Spirit of Democracy Study Tour (pdf - 504.74kb)

Student application criteria


Applications must:

  • be a personal reflection, short story, or expository essay
  • be up to 800 words
  • be in Microsoft Word or PDF format
  • be in English
  • use Arial 11 font with 1.5 spacing between lines
  • be the student's own work with no assistance from their family, school staff or friends
  • compliant with copyright laws and include references (where applicable).

Student topic for 2019-2020

Drawing on classical Greek philosophers such as Plato and Aristotle, prepare a personal reflection, short story, or expository essay of up to 800 words responding to:

Ancient democracy is often viewed as a system of government where the citizens of the city-state held the power. Is this an accurate observation of the democratic model in modern day Australia?

Applications will be considered using this assessment matrix:

  • Understanding of the origins and complexities of democracy; and its influence on modern Victorian or Australian society (25%)
  • Describes principles of democracy from philosophers such as Plato and Aristotle (15%)
  • Offers examples of student participation and contribution to Victorian or Australian society today as active and informed citizens (15%)
  • Has clear and logical links to the topic (25%)
  • Shows creativity and originality (20%)

Applications must include your response to the student topic. You will need your parent/carer and school principal or principal delegate to support your application.

Submit your application online via Student Application by Thursday 12 December 2019.

Student’s applications will be short-listed and considered by a panel of eminent Victorians. The panel’s decision is final and no further discussion will be entered into.

Teacher expression of interest criteria

This is a unique opportunity to further develop your professional practice.

Take some time to reflect on the benefits your participation in PSoD may offer your school community, your colleagues and yourself.

Share your reflections with your principal and agree on a focus area of teaching or learning practice; relevant curriculum area, or a professional interest (linked to your professional development plan) that has direct application to your school. Take the time to consider how you will share these learnings as a representative of the PSoD.

To frame the research of your focus area and direct the collection of information, it may be useful to develop questions that are clear and achievable in the context of the study tour.

Sample questions:

  • How is democracy incorporated into the Greek education curriculum?
  • What does a high performing Greek school look like and how does this compare to my school?
  • How might PSoD student and teacher cultural immersion be monitored and improved in a two week study tour?
  • What pedagogies are used when teaching my subject area, in Greece?

Expressions of interest must be supported by your principal or principal delegate.

Submit your EOI online via Teacher Chaperone Expression of Interestby Thursday 12 December 2019.

Teachers expressing interest will be short-listed and considered by a panel of government, Catholic and independent school representatives. The panel’s decision will be final.

Further information

If you have any questions, email spirit.of.democracy@edumail.vic.gov.au