Youth Parliament is the Y NSW’s flagship youth leadership and engagement program and has been operating for 20 years in NSW. The program provides high school-age students with the opportunity to engage with civic leadership, policy development, and democratic parliamentary debate.
At the Y, we believe in the power of inspired young people.
Youth Parliament plays an important role in public discourse as it is all about empowerment and advocacy that provides a platform for young people to have their voices heard.
Aimed at young people in years 10, 11 and 12 or equivalent age throughout the state, the Y NSW Youth Parliament highlights the power of young people speaking on issues that are important to them and their local communities.
Led by young people for young people, each year’s cohort receives training from a youth volunteer taskforce, previous participants and external professional bodies. In the last ten years, approximately 1,000 young people have participated in the program.
Every participant’s potential to lead, learn and connect is nurtured through parliamentary education, community engagement, confidence building and teamwork. They develop their skills in creating social impact and positive change in a diverse, inclusive, safe and supportive environment.
The program involves young people creating reports with recommendations on issues for change within each government portfolio. These are debated during a mock sitting week in NSW Parliament House in a chamber where many MPs chair the debates. Youth Parliament culminates in a final event where young people present their report recommendations to a government MP in that portfolio.
Youth Parliament Statistics
- 97% of participants said they felt more empowered to advocate for issues in their local communities
- 98% of volunteers said they had enhanced their personal leadership skills
(Youth and Community Outcomes Report, 2019-20. The Y NSW)
- As part of our Reconciliation journey, we have established an Aboriginal Affairs Committee as part of our Youth Parliament program.
- Each year, Youth Parliament participants draft "Bills" or reports and present these to Members of the NSW Parliament.
- Trailblazers like Hamani Tanginoa: a young, gay, Wiradjuri, Goreng Goreng and Tongan man - made history at the Y as the first Aboriginal Youth Premier for NSW at 17 years of age at Youth Parliament.
- Former Youth Parliamentarians have gone on to become Members of Parliament in the NSW Parliament and returned to the Y NSW Youth Parliament program as guests to attend events and chair debates.
- Youth Parliament members have featured in news media nationally to discuss issues
Member for Castle Hill, Minister for Justice, Michael Farah 2022
“As a person who lives in NSW who has lots of ideas and notions, who wants to really initiate change, I believe Youth Parliament and the Y allows young people like me to be an agent of change.”
Want to apply to be a Y NSW Youth Parliamentarian for 2023?
Learn about everything you need to know about Youth Parliament
- Key dates for your diary
- What it's like to be a Youth Parliament Taskforce Volunteer (Taskie)?
- How to apply
Discover more about the Y NSW Youth Parliament online and on our socials!
Read the inspiring Bills and Reports from past Youth Parliament Programs