Applications are closing in just over one week on 17 February for the Y NSW’s 2023 Youth Parliament.
Young people in years 10, 11 and 12 (or equivalent age) who consider themselves thought-leaders, change-makers, trailblazers and inspired in all 93 NSW state electorates are invited to apply.
As NSW’s premier youth empowerment program operating for over 20 years, Youth Parliament offers young people the opportunity to debate in NSW Parliament, create Youth Bills on issues for change, and have their voices and recommendations heard by Members of Parliament.
Youth Parliamentarians receive specialised training through a series of camps and online workshops, parliamentary education and experience, plus opportunity for community engagement and teamwork which are all designed to nurture participants in developing their skills to create social impact and positive change.
Throughout the program, participants are invited to create reports with recommendations for policy change and debate their recommendations during a mock sitting week in NSW Parliament House chaired by Ministers of Parliament. The Y NSW then actively works to facilitate ongoing engagement with relevant Ministers.
The Y NSW CEO Susannah Le Bron commented that the Youth Parliament program provides an important platform to ensure young people are heard.
“Each year I am amazed by the immense passion, intelligence and insight participants bring to Youth Parliament as they speak on issues that are important to them.
“Young people are the focus of everything we do at the Y NSW so it’s incredibly exciting watching participants flourish as they are empowered to engage with civic leadership, policy development and democratic parliamentary debate,” said Le Bron.
In the past ten years, approximately 1,000 young people have participated in the program with 97 per cent of participants surveyed saying they felt more empowered to advocate for issues in their local communities. Testament to the value of the program, former Youth Parliamentarians have gone on to become Members of Parliament and return to the Youth Parliament program as guests and mentors.
“If you are a young person in NSW looking for an opportunity to stand up and give a voice to issues that you’re passionate about, I urge you to put in your application for our 2023 Youth Parliament,” she concluded.
To apply to take part in the 2023 Youth Parliament, eligible young people should visit ymcansw.org.au/youth-parliament and submit their application before 17 February 2023. School teachers and Members of Parliament can also nominate a young person.