My doctoral study focused on students' perceptions of educational change in a number of secondary schools in Australia. The research was birthed when I, as a teacher at a school undergoing substantial change, started to listen to students' comments and discovered in them a remarkable similarity to what we as teachers were saying. Yet, students are seldom considered as participants in educational change. My research found that not only did students wish to take part in the decision-making processes in schools, they were very aware of the various agendas for change. Students strongly believed they should be viewed as stakeholders in their education. Areas of concern included school image, academic learning and teacher employment. A hybrid conceptual framework was adopted, drawing on both a postmodern policy cycle approach and also on critical theory - after the works of Paulo Freire. This article presents a reflection on my research journey as it developed from listener to researcher. The article concludes with suggestions for empowering students, especially in policy enactment.