Em­pow­er­ing young peo­ple

Benalla Ensign - - News -

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

Steph Ryan

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