Sunday, June 23, 2024

Mildura youth parliament team set to tackle big issues

Five young Mildura leaders have been selected to represent the region in this year’s YMCA Victoria Youth Parliament program.

Matilda Brown, Lani Mulvihill, Emily Adams, Kacey Butler and Evelyn Cirillo are this year’s YMCA Youth Parliament Mildura team.

The annual YMCA Victorian Youth Parliament allows young Victorians (16-25) to participate in the parliamentary processes in the Victorian State Government and advocate for issues that matter to them.

Mildura Rural City Councillor for Community Health and Wellbeing, Troy Bailey said the Bills handed to the relevant Ministers by our youth provide the government with awareness of issues important to young Victorians.

“The youth parliament is an opportunity for young people to be heard on the issues that are important to them. Each year we see participants from the Mildura region walk away from the program with a wealth of knowledge and inspiration to tackle the big issues, and carry the experience on throughout their careers,” Cr Bailey said.

The team recently attended the first of two YMCA Training Camps at Lake Dewar in Myrniong, where they spent two days learning parliamentary etiquette and debate, media training and completing their Bill.

They have returned with a wealth of knowledge and the confidence to debate their Bill, which is Increased Housing Affordability for Tertiary Students Bill 2024.

The Bill aims to address the inequitable access to tertiary housing faced by students who are disadvantaged by their personal circumstances. This issue currently impacts young people from the Mallee as well as members of this year’s Youth Parliament group who wish to pursue tertiary education in Melbourne and other capital cities in the future, the Council said in a statement.

Team members, Matilda Brown and Kacey Butler, said being a part of the Youth Parliament team provides an array of opportunities to gain leadership skills and experiences and pave the future for youth in the region.

“Growing up in a very progressive family I’ve grown an interest in how I can make a difference in my community, and by getting involved in the Youth Parliament Team I can be more open about issues while also providing solutions,” Matilda said.

“Being a part of the Youth Parliament Team is important as it allows us to gain a deeper understanding of the varying issues that our youth face daily, and the opportunity to engage in debate and discussion that could potentially have a meaningful, positive impact on the lives of young Victorians,” said Kacey.

The team will debate their proposed Bill in the Victorian Parliament in front of Ministers and the public during Youth Parliament Week, which runs from Monday 1 July to Friday 5 July.

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