It’s been another exciting week to mark the end of Week 5 of the Hansard Scholars Programme. Monday saw myself and my fellow scholars commence our parliamentary internships following the general election held a few weeks back. I was pleased to commence my internship with Rt Hon Sajid Javid MP, who serves as the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, and Member of Parliament for Bromsgrove in the Parliament of the United Kingdom. My position sees me work in Mr Sajid’s Westminster office, which assists him in his role as the Member for Bromsgrove.
It has been a very interesting and involved week where I have had the unique opportunity of gaining knowledge and experience within many different facets of the Westminster office. I am very privileged to work alongside a talented and experienced team who have been very helpful in ‘showing me the ropes’ and introducing me to what the role entails. I am particularly enjoying being able to apply my skills from my tertiary study, as well as from my experience working for a politician in Australia, whilst learning so much more! I’m really looking forward to the next three weeks where I can continue to gain skills and develop further experiences to assist in my continued professional development.
A highlight of my internship experience is without a doubt being able to work within the Palace of Westminster, which is an architectural and historical masterpiece that will never cease to amaze me! I also had the unique opportunity to be present as the Queen’s Speech was held at the State Opening of Parliament on Wednesday. Whilst I didn’t sit in on the opening itself, I was lucky enough to be just metres away as the Queen was driven into Parliament. I was then able to watch the Queen deliver her speech, which stated what her Parliament will deliver in this new term, from the television within our office.
This weekend has also been quite full-on as I make the most of my time here and try to cover as much ground as possible. On Saturday, I took a day trip to visit Windsor Castle, Bath and Stonehenge. This is a tour I would certainly recommend as a day trip from London. It was amazing to wander the grounds of Windsor Castle and appreciate the grandeur of this marvellous place. I particularly enjoyed seeing the State Apartments and walking through the rooms within, which were decorated so stunningly with prodigious artwork to match. The tour then moved on to the town of Bath, with us being treated to boundless views of the countryside as we made our way via bus. The Roman Baths in Bath were a pleasure to visit and it was great to immerse myself in the rich history of this attraction. I am still unsure how keen I’d be on getting in that water today though? The last stop, Stonehenge, has always been a place I have wanted to visit (that’s right, who else remembers that Windows XP screensaver from early 2000’s?) It was amazing to experience Stonehenge in person and walk around to appreciate the significant history in this phenomenal masterpiece.
On Sunday, I was off again! This time I took a train to the seaside town of Portsmouth (about one and a half hours south) to dip my feet in the English Channel and see what the British coast had to offer! I was treated to a fine pebble beach and lots of crashing waves and some sun in the afternoon – perfect! Whilst there, I also enjoyed wandering through the Portsmouth Historic Dockyard, with Portsmouth being a well pronounced English Naval Base. It was also great to visit Swansea Castle. It is worth noting that Portsmouth is also host to some fantastic factory outlet shopping! Enjoying none other than fish, chips and mushy peas by the sea for lunch, it was a fantastic day and particularly nice to soak up some salty air before the trip back to London for my busy week ahead!
This coming week will continue to see me partake in my internship and I am looking forward to my weekend away – more on that in next week’s blog!