The Victoria’s State Government is opening applications for the Premier’s Spirit of Democracy Prize, inviting students in years 9, 10 and 11 at government, Catholic and independent schools to apply to participate in a study tour of Greece, to deepen their understanding of civics and citizenship.

Acting Premier and Education Minister James Merlino announced that applications are now open for the study tour, which offers up to 22 Victorian students the opportunity to travel to Greece as part of a curriculum immersion program.

Students are encouraged to submit a written response about democracy, drawing on the work of classical Greek thinkers such as Plato and Aristotle and explore the role, history and evolution of democracy and how it has shaped Australia and Victoria.

The successful applicants will be selected by a panel and invited to travel to Greece to deepen their learning and broaden their understanding of democracy and citizenship through the international experience.

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Last month the government announced a funding boost of $747,000 to promote student participation and engagement in civics and citizenship. As part of this investment, the Victorian Curriculum and Assessment Authority is working with academic experts and the VicSRC to build on the teaching of civics in Victorian schools.

Victoria’s Greek Australian Health Minister Jenny Mikakos said that the prize will “give young Victorians an exciting opportunity to learn how the civilisation of ancient Greece and its founding ideas of democracy, continue to shape the Australia we live in today.” She said that “having the opportunity to travel to Greece and experience it’s rich culture will also inspire and expand the world view of Victorian students.”

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Applications for the Premier’s Spirit of Democracy Prize opened on Tuesday 22 October and will close on Thursday, 12 December 2019 with successful applicants travelling during Term 1 school holidays, 2020.