Pictured: YMCA Youth Parliament participants smiling in front of Parliament House.
Young people aged 16 to 25 are encouraged to apply for the 2019 YMCA Victoria Youth Parliament to experience what it’s like to be a parliamentarian and debate issues that matter to them.
YMCA Youth Governor Olivia Beasley said it was an exciting time for young people to be involved, especially during an election year.
“The program gives you a new perspective and many opportunities to speak up without judgement," said Olivia.
“You will make new friends or even a new family as I did. So, if you are within 16 – 25 years old and have a dream to change the world, I dare you to join the program. You will thank me later!”
Youth Parliament has helped shape more than 25 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.
Minister for Youth Gabrielle Williams said she was proud to continue to support the successful program and looks forward to hearing about what issues young people from across the state are passionate about.
“YMCA Victoria Youth Parliament provides an opportunity for young people to engage with the Victorian parliamentary process and passionately debate their ideas,” she said.
Teams of young parliamentarians will draft, debate and vote on Bills during the three-day sitting in Victorian Parliament’s chambers in July.
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 intensive training camp in May, where they will develop their skills in relationship building, teamwork, public speaking and leadership.
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 Youth Press Gallery.
Applications open today and close on Thursday 7 March. Click here for more information or to apply.