YMCA NSW Youth Parliament
What is Youth Parliament?
The YMCA NSW Youth Parliament is a program that gives young people a voice in the running of NSW. It is a place where the opinions and concerns of young people in NSW are heard by those who have the power to make laws. Run by young people, for young people, the program aims to promote youth-led advocacy, active community leadership and legal and parliamentary education.
What is involved?
YMCA NSW Youth Parliament runs from January to July each year. Throughout this period, "Youth MPs" work in committees of 8-10 young people from around NSW to propose solutions to an issue the committee is passionate about.
Participants are given opportunities to learn, develop and up-skill, including workshops focused on parliamentary knowledge, teamwork and leadership.
The Run Down
Thursday April 9th - Sunday April 12th 2015
Vision Valley Camp, Arcadia
Training Camp gives Youth MPs a taste of the program and the chance to meet other Youth MPs and the Taskforce. The three-day camp includes training and bill development workshops.
Sunday July 5th - Saturday July 11th 2015
YMCA Camp Yarramundi, Yarramundi
The culmination of montsh of hard work, “Resi” is a week-long camp that includes Sitting Days in parliament.
Sitting Days in Parliament
6, 7, 9 and 10 July 2015
NSW Parliament House, Sydney
Participants are transported by bus to and from Parliament House. The days involve Youth MPs debating their bills and topics they have researched over the course of the program. Families and members of the public are welcome to come along during the sitting days to experience the high quality debate. Further information regarding sitting day timetables will be available before Sitting Week.
Who runs Youth Parliament?
The Taskforce, or “Taskies”, are a group of 27 volunteers who facilitate the program under the guidance of the Program Coordinator, Elle Griffin. The Taskies are responsible for the running and supervision of camps, and creation of educational material. One Taskie is allocated to each committee as a Committee Advisor to manage the group throughout the program and to provide topical advice gained through related university and industry experience. Every Taskie is a past participant of the program and is between the ages of 18-25, making the program one that is run by youth, for youth.
What is the participation fee?
The exact amount for 2015 will be confirmed shortly. In 2014, the fee was $600. This fee covers all accommodation, meals, activities, resources and on-camp transport for the duration of the program. Please note that this fee does not cover transport to and from camps.
Past participants have found it valuable to seek sponsorship to cover the program fee. Your local MP, council, school, service clubs and community groups are often keen to support young people in the local area involved in programs like Youth Parliament. The YMCA also offer a limited number of fee-assisted places in the program which are available upon application each February.
Is YP right for me?
- Are passionate about advocating for change? You will be a voice for young people in your electorate, advising MPs & decision-makers on matters affecting young people.
- Do you want the opportunity to develop skills in leadership, public speaking, debating and team work?
- Do you want to learn more about government and law-making? You will be able to meet with and talk to decision-makers & learn first-hand how Government and the Parliament operate.
- Do you want to meet other young people and form new friendships? The program includes two great camps and you can really get to know people and form life long friendships.
What previous Youth MPs had to say about the program
“Educational, eye-opening, professional and just great”
“Youth Parliament has helped me to see beyond my own comfort zone and pushed me to do things that I would have never otherwise done”
“I will be more confident in speaking, more confident in advocating for my community, more confident in standing up for what I believe in. I have discovered so much about myself”
“I have made life-long friends and that is all because of Youth Parliament. Thank you YMCA!”
“I would recommend this program to everyone in my community!”
What has been debated previously by Youth MPs?
Since 2001, over 100 Youth Bills, Reports, Matters of Public Importance and much more have been debated. Click on the links to read what has been debated in recent years.
- Youth Parliament Acts, Bills and Recommendations 2010
- Youth Parliament Acts, Bills and Recommendations 2011
- Youth Parliament Acts, Bills and Recommendations 2012
- Youth Parliament Acts, Bills and Recommendations 2013
- Youth Parliament Acts, Bills and Recommendations 2014
How do I get involved?
Applications for the 2015 program are now closed. More inforamtion on when applications open for 2016 will be available later in the year.
There are two ways to get involved:
1) Contact your local State member of parliament or a member of the Legislative Council in October. Each MP is allowed to nominate one young person to be their representative at YP! This is a great way to get involved, as all MP nominations are automatically accepted as Youth Members.
2) Apply online! Please note that MP nominations are given priority over open applications. Open applications will be judged on merit to fill positions left vacant by MP nominations.
Who can I contact if I have questions or want more information?
For more information about the YMCA NSW Youth Parliament, please contact:
YMCA NSW Youth Parliament Coordinator
P: 02 9633 8251