The Y NSW is part of the oldest and largest youth organisation in the world. For more than 175 years, the Y has created positive change, social impact and targeted services that seek to directly address the issues young people face.
This year, the Y NSW awarded two Indigenous scholarships as part of its Youth Parliament program and 16-year-old Jewel Osborne has taken the opportunity with open arms, shining a light on First Nations voices being heard.
Jewel, from Western Sydney, is not your average 16 year old. As a Wiradjuri woman living on Darug Country, Jewel is passionate about Indigenous, women’s and human rights issues with a goal to one day sit next to her idols Linda Burney and Jacinta Price in parliament.
“Youth Parliament plays an important role in allowing young people to have their voices heard and I am proud to represent my community and my mob as a youth parliamentarian,” said Jewel.
As part of its Reconciliation journey, the Y NSW established an Aboriginal Affairs Committee in 2023 Youth Parliament program which Jewel was delighted to be involved in.
“For the Youth Parliament Sitting Week in July we created a bill about the Voice to Parliament as part of the Aboriginal Affairs committee and worked together to present this. I was part of the opposition group and was so excited to be involved in this debate,” she added.
Jewel represents the Blacktown/ Mt Druitt electorate for the program and applied so she could advocate for other young people in her community.
“I applied so I could advocate for all Aboriginal people in Western Sydney and my school itself, and I applied for the scholarship just to promote First Nations people generally as well,” added Jewel.
Under the scholarship, Jewel has been proud to use her voice to advocate for Aboriginal and First Nations issues and challenges.
“I am really privileged to be educated on the topic of Aboriginal affairs and I have experienced such value in also using my female perspective to share an understanding of the core issues that we experience,” continued Jewel.
When asked if Jewel would recommend the Youth Parliament program to others, she was quick to convey her strong message.
“Absolutely. Instead of being scared or worried about how people are going to react, take up the opportunity. Rather than thinking ‘I wish I could make an impact’, I am making a difference,” she concluded.