The State Government is investing $160,000 to support this year’s YMCA Victoria Youth Parliament program, including support for young people with a disability and the continuation of the YMCA Youth Press Gallery.
The Hon. Ros Spence, Minister for Youth, said the government is proud to continue its support for the program and she looks forward to hearing about the ideas that young people develop to tackle the issues that matter to them and their peers.
“This is a great opportunity for young leaders to get involved in the parliamentary process, see how government works and spark genuine change on the issues that matter most to Victorian young people,” said the Hon. Ros Spence.
“I encourage young people from across the state to get involved in this unique opportunity to influence change.”
YMCA Victoria 2021 Youth Governor, Georgia MacKenzie, said YMCA Victoria Youth Parliament provides young people from across Victoria the opportunity to stand up and have their voices heard on the issues that matter most to them.
“Young people are much more engaged than we are often led to believe, and Youth Parliament gives them the opportunity to showcase that and use their passion to make the changes they want to see a reality,” said Georgia MacKenzie.
“Participants develop vital skills through the program, from public speaking and communication to critical thinking, while also learning how to work and communicate effectively with those whose opinions differ from their own.”
Youth Parliament has helped to shape more than 30 laws over more than 30 years, including laws on over the counter availability of the morning after pill, banning of soft drinks in State Schools and gender-neutral school uniforms.
Teams of young parliamentarians will draft, debate and vote on Bills during the three-day sitting in Victorian Parliament’s chambers in September.
Youth Parliament Bills that pass during the week will then be presented to relevant government ministers for their consideration.
The Youth Parliamentarians will also attend a YMCA Victoria intensive training camp in August, where they will develop their skills in relationship building, teamwork, public speaking and leadership.
Applications open today and close on Friday 19 March 2021. For more information or to apply, visit: www.vicyouth.ymca.org.au/learning-and-leadership/youth-parliament/get-involved