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Railway Interest Group “Public vs Private Operators” Interschool Forum


On Thursday 30th of March, the Melbourne High School Railway Interest Group hosted its informative and immersive annual Interschool Forum with East Doncaster Secondary College and Ivanhoe Grammar School on the theme of “Public vs Private Operators”. The forum’s purpose was to explore the benefits and consequences of different public and private operators in cities and modes of transport worldwide, and to work collaboratively with different people from different schools.

The day began with a warm welcome from the club leaders and a Bingo icebreaker activity to encourage everyone to talk to one another and settle in for the day. This was then followed by three distinct knowledgeable guest speakers, each from their separate field; Dr John Stone who explored Victoria’s currently transport system, as well as the pros and cons of public and private operators, Emile van de Graaff who explored case studies of successful public and private operators and partnerships and Wayne Chan who explained the economics behind running a transport system with an in-depth cost-benefit analysis. Students were also given the opportunity to ask questions and interact with each guest speaker.

We continued the day with our main activity, in which students were to form groups of 6 and create and edit a 1-minute video explaining the characteristics of their allocated transport operator through thorough research and planning. This was an unique opportunity for students to not only learn about transportation around the world, but also to learn from each other. Finally, we finished off the day with students then presented their videos to everyone else, with the winning groups and Bingo winners winning a huge box of Cadbury favourite chocolates.

Overall, this was a highly informative and successful event which took many months of preparation and work from the entire cabinet team and teacher liaisons. A huge thank you to Ms Capon, Ms Beanland and Mr Howie for going out of their way to supervise and support this memorable event, which contributed heavily to the success of it. We cannot wait to host more and bigger excursions as the year goes on, such as the Canberra and Sydney excursion right at the end of the year, so keep your eyes peeled.

Photos by Abyaz Shams and Pei Zhang.