Picture: YMCA Youth Press Gallery participants, which is a part of YMCA Victoria Youth Parliament.
Applications are now open for the 2020 YMCA Victoria Youth Parliament and young people aged 16 to 25 are encouraged to apply to experience what it’s like to be a parliamentarian and debate issues that matter to them.
YMCA Victoria 2019-2020 Youth Governor Nicholas Steer said that any young person wanting to be a part of the program should look forward to a rich and authentic experience.
“Youth Parliament has allowed me to understand what it is like to be heard. The program offers young people across Victoria an opportunity to be heard within the highest place of legislative power in the state – Parliament House,” he said.
The Victorian Government is investing $640,000 over four years (2019-20 to 2022-23) to support the YMCA Victoria Youth Parliament program, including support for young people with a disability and the continuation of the YMCA Youth Press Gallery.
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.
“We’re giving young people the chance to develop as leaders and change-makers, for the benefit of all Victorians,” she said.
Youth Parliament has helped to shape more than 25 laws over more than 30 years, including laws on over-the-counter availability of the morning after pill, banning 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 late June and early July.
Youth Parliament Bills that pass during the week will then be presented to relevant government ministers for their consideration.
The Youth Parliamentarians will attend a YMCA Victoria intensive training camp in May, where they will develop their skills in relationship building, teamwork, public speaking and leadership.