Empowering young people
The Nationals say a Coalition Government will ensure young Victorians from all walks of life can be part of Youth Parliament to influence and develop legislation that matters to them.
State Member for Euroa and Shadow Minister for Young Victorians Steph Ryan recently announced a Liberal Nationals Government promise to provide $120 000 a year for four years to the YMCA to run the Youth Parliament Program — an increase of $20 000 a year.
‘‘Young people in Victoria have good ideas about how to improve our state and we want to hear them,’’ Ms Ryan said.
‘‘Twenty-five bills developed and debated by Youth Parliament have gone on to become legislation.
‘‘Empowering young people and taking their concerns seriously strengthens our democracy and makes today’s decision-makers accountable to the future leaders of our state.’’
The funding will provide longterm certainty to the program, which has had to rely on year-by- year funding under current arrangements, and will give more young people with special needs the opportunity to be involved.
In particular, the aim is to facilitate additional support for young people who are deaf or hard of hearing and support young people travelling from rural and regional areas.
Youth Parliament was estab- lished in 1987 and is run by the YMCA in conjunction with the Victorian Government.
Each year 120 students aged 16 to 25 undertake leadership training, team building and other activities.
Participants form teams of six and raise $4000 to attend.
In 2014, the Liberal Nationals established the YMCA Press Gallery to run alongside Youth Parliament, providing a newsroom environment to cover the activities of Youth Parliament.
Since its establishment, Youth Parliament has provided the opportunity for 3000 young Victorians to speak out on issues important to them.
Young people in Victoria have good ideas about how to improve our state and we want to hear them. Steph Ryan