Budding young parliamentarians from the City of Whittlesea got a taste of the real deal through YMCA Victoria’s Youth Parliament program during the school holidays.
Council was proud to support local residents Annie, Jasmine, Victoria, Monica, Nina and Anna to take part in the annual program, where they debated issues of importance to young people.
Administrator Peita Duncan told this week’s council meeting the Youth Parliament program was an opportunity for young people aged 16 to 25 to have their voices heard at the highest levels of State Government.
“These sorts of initiatives are part of Council’s broader support for community leadership and we are extremely proud of last week’s youth participants,” Ms Duncan said.
“This team participated on behalf of the Council and sponsored The Improved Accessibility in Public Transport Bill, which was overwhelmingly supported by the Youth Parliament in the Legislative Assembly, and passed following the same procedures that the Victorian government use to adopt bills in Victoria.
“The Improved Accessibility in Public Transport Bill is an act to improve access to trains, stations and services, with a particular attention to the barriers faced by people with a disability.”
Bills passed by the Youth Parliament and given the assent of the Youth Governor are passed onto the State Government for consideration, with more than 30 pieces of state legislation originating there in the program’s 35-year history.
Mernda resident, Annie, 18, was an eager participant and said taking part in the Youth Parliament program was an amazing experience.
“The bill was the first and only bill in this year's Youth Parliament to pass unanimously, which is incredibly exciting,” Annie said.
“The Youth Parliament program gave me a chance to put my current skill set to use, expand my knowledge, meet like-minded young people, and find a collaborative resource to continue to grow after the program finished.”
The program is traditionally run in the chambers of State Parliament but was held virtually this year.