Youth Minister Peter Tinley has formally closed this year’s YMCA Youth Parliament – an annual leadership program that enables young Western Australians to take on the role of Members of Parliament and war game parliamentary proceedings in the Legislative Council.
The program encourages young people aged 15-24 years to detail their views and concerns on selected topics and propose solutions to drive change. This year marks 24 years of the Youth Parliament program operating in WA.
More than 140 young Western Australians applied to participate this year, and 43 of the 59 successful applicants were from regional WA.
Each participant was allocated an electorate and assigned to a committee. This year’s committees canvassed issues such as multicultural and indigenous affairs, youth affairs, women’s interests, environment, commerce, health, mental health and disability.
Participants also attended a camp in the lead-up to the Youth Parliament to develop and enhance their life skills, and develop and write Bills for presentation at the Youth Parliament.
As stated by Youth Minister Peter Tinley:
“The YMCA’s Youth Parliament is an outstanding initiative that promotes youth-led advocacy, active community leadership and parliamentary education.
“It enables young Western Australians to grapple with the big issues and get a feel for the conditions and the work required to drive beneficial and lasting change.
“Youth Parliament is administered and shaped by young volunteers and the program includes activities that develop leadership skills, practical skills and personal development.
“The issues covered during this year’s event included prosaic topics such as driver education and wage entitlements, as well as an interrogation of more far-reaching social issues such as indigenous connections to culture and the education system.
“Participants also debated the sustainability and economic challenges of nuclear power and electric vehicles.
“As Youth Minister, and also as a Member of the Legislative Assembly, I was excited to see this group of young Western Australians seriously examining and debating issues that are very important to them and also the wider community.”