This year, I have been lucky enough to be selected as the Youth Member representing the people of Burleigh in the 2019 YMCA Queensland Youth Parliament. I am one of 93 young Queenslanders aged between 15 and 25 who have been selected to represent.
The YMCA Queensland Youth Parliament is a unique opportunity for youth to create real change in Queensland. Youth Members are the voice of young people in their electorates, advising politicians and decision-makers across the state. Beyond bridging the gap between legislators and youth in Queensland, QYP also provides an outstanding opportunity for personal development, be that in leadership skills, public speaking ability or the lifelong friendships forged throughout the transformative experience.
During my time in this program, I will be a part of the Education, Employment and Training committee. We are currently working on a bill that is attempting to help students who are falling through the gaps in our current education system. Whilst the standards of education within Queensland continues to progress, there are still various inequalities in today’s education system and many students with disabilities, mental health issues and those with low socioeconomic backgrounds fall behind. We have just finished our first draft which has since been sent to our refuting team who will make any amendments or changes that they see fit. After that, we will reject or accept the amendments and debate the entirety of the bill in the parliamentary house.
As part of the program I have been able to meet and shadow our local MP Michael Hart, which was amazing. We went to a community morning tea with Ros Bates MP, Karen Andrews MP and Cr Daphne McDonald, and other members in the community. I then went with him to the local community centre and met a woman who had spent the last week getting just under 1000 signatures for a petition to extend one of the bus lines to North Burleigh. Mr. Hart has supported me throughout this entire process and has sponsored my experience. I can't thank him enough.
This is such a remarkable experience and it has really helped me voice my opinion about issues in our society. It has helped me realise how important it is that our generation has a voice in the current democracy and the potential that we have to really make a difference.
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