Volume 29 Issue 8 - 2 June 2017

YMCA NSW Youth Parliament 2017

Each local MP is allowed to nominate one student or young person from their area for the YMCA NSW Youth Parliament and our local MP, Greg Warren nominated me. This program allows young people to voice their passions and ideas in a parliament setting to propose change for the future. We have the opportunity to create solutions for the problems facing NSW and discuss/debate these issues in NSW Parliament House in front of MPs.

We attend two camps. The first is a Training Camp at Baden Powell Scout Centre in Pennant Hills, which is from 4 July to 7 July. At this camp, we meet other participants, committee members and program volunteers. This camp is when we begin to talk about our areas of interest and undertake parliamentary training.

The second is the Residential Camp at Cockatoo Island (Sydney Harbour) from 23 September to 30 September. This camp is the main component of the Youth Parliament program. Here we continue to work on our Bills and Reports as well as recreation activities. Four days of this camp will be spent at Parliament House debating our issues. We will also be visiting Government House.

I have been assigned to the Women's Affairs Committee, where we are to report on matters regarding the performance/effectiveness of Government departments, statutory body or corporation on the following areas: Health, Women, Prevention of Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault, Family and Community Services, Social Housing, Aboriginal Affairs, Disability Services, Ageing and Multiculturalism.

I feel like this has been the best personal achievement I have had during my high school years. When I was in Year 10 I honestly wouldn't imagine myself being nominated for this program.

I am really excited to be a part of this program and cannot wait to be able to voice my ideas and opinions about issues we are facing today.

Payten S – Year 12 Student