Youths bring fresh ideas to world of pol­i­tics

Townsville Bulletin - - News - Natalie Wynne Townsville Bul­letin Wed­nes­day, March

THERE’S a new mem­ber for Mund­ing­burra.

But , a t 1 6 y e a r s o l d , Courtney Weekes isn’t your av­er­age politi­cian.

En­sur­ing her elec­torate re­ceives ad­e­quate gov­ern­ment fund­ing will be among the top pri­or­i­ties for the keen Kir­wan State High stu­dent when she tack­les the Queens­land Youth Par­lia­ment in Bris­bane this month. Miss Weekes said she was look­ing for­ward to meet­ing with the elec­torate’s lo­cal politi­cians to gain in­side knowl­edge into the work­ings of the po­lit­i­cal world. The YMCA Queens­land Youth Par­lia­ment ex­ec­u­tive an­nounced its mem­bers to take part in the 2011 pro­gram, with the Year 12 stu­dent one of 89 across the state cho­sen to rep­re­sent each Queens­land elec­torate from a field of 170 hope­fuls.

Miss Weekes said she couldn’t be more thrilled to be head­ing to par­lia­ment.

‘‘ I’m very ex­cited. I wasn’t sure if I was go­ing to get it and I got called up to the prin­ci­pal’s of­fice and my first thought was, ‘ oh my God, what have I done wrong’,’’ she said.

Luck­ily for Miss Weekes, it was all good news. Kir­wan High teacher Kelly Markham said Miss Weekes was an in­cred­i­bly tal­ented stu­dent with a big pas­sion for the law and pol­i­tics.

‘‘ It’s a mas­sive re­sponsi b i l i t y o n C o u r t n e y ’ s shoul­ders and it’s a mas­sive achieve­ment for her to be cho­sen,’’ she said.

She said the youth par­lia- ment, now in its 16th year, was a great op­por­tu­nity for l i ke-minded s t udents t o meet and swap ideas.

Oth­ers cho­sen i nclude Shan­non Dil­lon ( Bur­dekin), J e s s e T r e c c o - Al e x a n d e r ( Hinch­in­brook), J e r e my K w o n g ( T h u r i n g o w a ) , Jimeka Richard­son ( Townsville) and Cass Hay­ward ( Whit­sun­day).

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