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The Y NSW Youth Parliamentarians back in the House

More than 50 Youth Parliamentarians will return to Macquarie Street to hand deliver nine meticulously prepared committee reports to the respective Ministers’ portfolios.

The reports contain nearly 100 recommendations across a range of portfolios including Aboriginal Affairs, Education, Women’s Affairs and Inclusion and Diversity – which represent hundreds of hours of hard work.

“We are all here to represent something that we are passionate about and we are all passionate about politics and policy in some way,” said Vincent Rummery, Member for the Blue Mountains.

The reports are the culmination of at least six months’ work. The students held regular virtual committee meetings, attended a week-long April training camp at the Sydney Olympic Park Lodge and enjoyed an action-packed four-day sitting week in the Legislative Council Chamber, in July.

“Our report on females in sport and their representation in media was a good debate,” said Kiama teenager and Youth Minister for Women’s Affairs, Jade Poulton.

“I’m glad we got a chance to talk about the issues and the result in the end was really good.”

The students tackled issues close to their hearts. Among the recommendations were:

•    Implement a 11.5% wage rise for teachers this financial year. 
•    Raise the age of criminal responsibility to 14
•    Lower the minimum full-time work age to 16.
•    Reduce the cost of car registration on apprentices and young tradespeople by 60%
•    Requirement for corporations to hold a 40% quota for minority groups in major board positions by 2035.

In 2019, Hamani Tanginoa was The Y NSW Youth Parliament’s first Aboriginal Premier. Tanginoa said he was overwhelmed by the efforts of this year's Aboriginal Affairs Committee in calling for the creation of an Indigenous Voice to Parliament.

“I’d never thought I would see the day when I would see that topic debated on the floors of NSW Parliament, if this is the future of our parliament and our society, our world is in good hands,” said 2022 Youth Parliament volunteer Tanginoa.

Y NSW Youth Parliamentarians settle in for another day of discussion and debate

Youth Parliament is the Y NSW’s flagship youth leadership and engagement program and has been operating for 20 years in NSW, providing high school-age students with the opportunity to engage with civic leadership, policy development and democratic parliamentary debate.   

It has been an unforgettable ride for the 2022 cohort. The Presentation of Reports will be a welcome opportunity to catch up with fellow committee members and renew friendships.

“This a remarkable program that encourages and empowers young people to develop their public speaking and advocacy skills in a supportive and collaborative environment,” said Louisa McKay, Y NSW Executive Leader Purpose and Impact.

“Each year we are inspired by the passion and commitment young people bring to the program.”

This year marked the first-time participants were able to meet in person for two years, with COVID-19 restrictions turning parliamentary training and sitting days into a virtual program last year.

Participants will travel from all parts of NSW for the ceremony - including Tweed Heads, Orange, Lismore, Wagga, Port Stephens, Paramatta, Newtown, the Blue Mountains and Maroubra.

Wiradjuri Wailwan activist and former Youth Parliament participant Ethan Floyd will conduct an Acknowledgement of Country before Y NSW Chief Executive Susannah Le Bron delivers the opening address.

“How extraordinary and how lucky we are that our future is in the hands of such capable, insightful and such intelligent people, that truly inspire me,” said Le Bron.

In his first official duty, 2022-23 Youth Governor Myles Waciega will make his opening address before the Presentation of Reports begins.

In addition to the Presentation of Reports, Youth Parliamentarians will take part in a panel discussion after the ceremony, attended by Youth Parliament alumni.

This is a great opportunity for students to ask former participants how their Youth Parliament experience helped shape their career.

The following Youth Parliament participants will present Reports: 
•    Handover of Aboriginal Affairs Report – Noah Smith, Member for Pittwater
•    Handover of Business and Employment Report – Krish Nair, Member for Baulkham Hills
•    Handover of the Environment and Climate Change Report– Josh Shaw, Member for Wagga
•    Handover of the Inclusion and Diversity Report – Daina Kerr, Member for Goulburn
•    Handover of the Justice Report – Michael Farah, Member for Castle Hill
•    Handover of the Mental Health Report – Sebastian Verjoustinski, Member for East Hills
•    Handover of the Women’s Affairs Report – Jade Poulton, Member for Kiama
•    Handover of the Transport, Roads and Infrastructure Report – Alex Hong, Member for Coogee
•    Handover of the Education Report – Jayden Delbridge, Member for Wyong

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