YMCA WA’s Youth Parliament program provides young people with opportunities to develop their leadership skills and learn about the political process in a forum like no other, and this year’s experience takes place from July 2nd - 7th.
The dedicated team of youth leaders have been working busily behind the scenes to prepare for this year’s program, taking place at Point Walter Recreation and Conference Centre and Parliament House.
The camp has three focal areas; the obvious one being the parliamentary experience, with the others being leadership development and the development of strong, supportive peer networks that occur through connecting like-minded young people.
YMCA WA CEO Ross Kyrwood believes this year’s 59 participants, ranging from 15-year-olds through to 24-year-olds, will gain a lot from the experience.
“Youth Parliament embodies our belief in the power of inspired young people. This experience will allow young people to voice their opinions on issues that are important to them,” Ross said.
“Participants are supported by past participants who volunteer on the leadership Taskforce team, YMCA WA staff and partner organisations for each bill they are presenting at Parliament.”
After careful consideration and research, this year the bills to be presented before parliament are; Foster Care Reform Bill 2017, Indigenous Business and Economic Participation Bill 2017, Public School Funding and Redistribution Bill 2017, Online Sexual Harassment and Cyber Security Bill 2017, The Plastic Bag Eradication Bill 2017, Youth Affordability and Employment Bill 2017, Social Equity Reform Bill 2017, Youth Mental Health De-Stigmatisation Bill 2017.
YMCA WA Mentoring Manager Tim Galloway said: “The outcomes of the young people’s bills are forwarded on to relevant ministers and community service organisations at the completion of the week’s activities, which is hugely empowering for our participants as their voices continue to be heard long after their time at Parliament House.”
“It is our hope that the outcomes of the young people’s bills are considered and acted upon by decision makers or the young people themselves after the completion of the program’s core activities.”
With many of this year’s bills being extremely topical, the young people will relish in the chance to present in front of Parliament on July 2nd, 3rd and 6th.
Youth Parliament is generously funded by the Department of Local Government and Community Services, YMCA WA and local community members and members of parliament through their sponsorships of individual participants.