“Gender equality isn’t an issue for just women, it affects everyone,” a Year 9 student declared to her classmates at The Grange High School.

It’s week three of The Huddle’s ‘Voice Your Voice’ program, and the classroom erupted with 20 students debating the topic.

“Regardless of who you are or what you look like, we should all be treated the same. This has been an issue for hundreds of years, and is still incredibly important; we should choose gender equality,” she continued.

The students were tasked with selecting a social cause to spend the next couple of months creating a media campaign for.

By this point the class had narrowed it down to two; ‘Gender Equality’ or ‘Our Future’.

At a stalemate, the classmates were encouraged to expand on why their topic should be chosen and to persuade their peers.

“I agree about Gender Equality,” one said. 

“But ‘Our Future’ as a topic also includes that. Fighting to protect our future, means gender equality, mental health, immigration - it means we have to fight for everyone and everything!”

Part of the ‘Voice your Voice‘ program is encouraging young people to find their voice and talk about topics they’re passionate about.

In this instance, even a class vote resulted in a stalemate.

The way to break the tie? Bring in the principal.

“Both teams were incredibly well prepared, and had very persuasive arguments,” the principal said.

“It is a very tough decision as both issues are important. However, I think that having a narrower focus than ‘Our Future’ is needed. So I choose ’Gender Equality’ as the topic.”

Some students sighed, and others cheered but regardless, all will be working together over the next five weeks.

Next on the agenda is a slogan, messaging and short animation videos to help promote gender equality.

“In the past students have enjoyed the process and been really creative, so I’m excited to see what this group comes up with,” a Huddle employee said.