2024 Youth Parliament NSW applications now open Highlight Section Myall Coast Port Stephens by News Of The Area - Modern Media - November 29, 2023 Young people in Years 10, 11 and 12 across the state are invited to express interest. THE Myall Coast’s youth leaders are invited to apply to participate in the Y NSW’s Youth Parliament program in 2024, with submissions opening on 24 November. Young people in Years 10, 11 and 12 (or equivalent age) in all 93 NSW state electorates are invited to express interest. Advertise with News of The Area today. It’s worth it for your business. Message us. Phone us – (02) 4981 8882. Email us – firstname.lastname@example.org The Y (formerly YMCA) Youth Parliament provides a unique platform for individuals to actively participate in the democratic process and advocate for issues that they are passionate about. The Y NSW is calling on young people from across the state to get involved. No experience is required, and people from diverse backgrounds are encouraged to apply, with financial sponsorships open to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, people living with a disability, individuals who identify as LGBTQIA+, those experiencing financial hardship, living in out-of-home care or rural areas, and refugee and asylum-seekers. “At the Y, we believe in the power of inspired young people and Youth Parliament offers the opportunity for our youth to learn about the parliamentary system, develop critical thinking and public speaking skills, and engage in constructive debates about issues that matter to them and their communities,” explained Executive Director/Interim CEO of the Y NSW, Prue Warrilow. “Participants will have the chance to draft, debate, and advocate for mock youth-focused legislation, gaining invaluable insights into the workings of government and policy development. “Young parliamentarians also participate in a training camp in April and a sitting held in July in NSW Parliament next year. “The Y then works actively to coordinate opportunities for the participants to present their Youth Bills to Ministers and other community leaders for consideration,” continued Ms Warrilow. Youth Parliament has supported more than 1,000 participants over the last decade with 97 percent of participants surveyed saying they felt more empowered to advocate for issues in their local communities. Testament to the value of the program, former Youth Parliamentarians have gone on to become Members of Parliament and community leaders of influence and return to the Youth Parliament program as guests and mentors. “We are particularly excited to welcome and encourage participation from young leaders of diverse backgrounds and those living in rural and remote communities, whose unique perspectives and experiences play a crucial role in shaping the discussions and policies at the Youth Parliament,” added Ms Warrilow. “Their active engagement and representation are vital in ensuring that the voices of all youth, regardless of location, are heard and considered in the decision-making processes that will affect our collective future,” she continued. Seventeen-year-old Rachel Lao was a 2023 Youth Parliament participant and is passionate about gender quality. Rachel was part of the NSW 2023 Women’s Committee who put forward a bill to support mothers’ reintegration into the workforce after maternity leave. “The Youth Parliament program provides the unique opportunity to not only connect with people who have various perspectives, but who are willing to debate diplomatically about social issues,” explained Ms Lao. “I think that it’s really encouraging to see the activism of our generation. Youth Parliament teaches participants how to lead and engage in debate that is productive and has the potential to make change. “The connections and friendships I have made through Youth Parliament this year are invaluable and I know that my peers will be using their voices and actions to make change beyond their involvement in this program,” she continued. To apply to take part in the 2024 Youth Parliament, young people should visit ymcansw.org.au/community-services/youth/youth-parliament/ and submit their application before 9 February 2024. School teachers and Members of Parliament can also nominate a young person. Applications open tomorrow, 24 November 2022.