Mahaylia Soars chosen to represent Port Stephens at the 2017 YMCA NSW Youth Parliament

Mahaylia Soars is looking forward to representing Port Stephens at the NSW Youth Parliament.
Mahaylia Soars is looking forward to representing Port Stephens at the NSW Youth Parliament.


MAHAYLIA Soars is one of 100 passionate young people from across New South Wales selected to have their voices heard and debate a range of issues that matter to them as part of the 16th Annual YMCA NSW Youth Parliament later this year.

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Over four sitting days on 25-26 and 28-29 September, the cohort, aged between 13-18, will debate bills on topics including youth mental health, the environment, housing affordability and education – in the chambers at State Parliament House in Sydney.

Mahaylia has been an active advocate for youth-related issues in Port Stephens for a number of years, most recently assisting with Youth Week events in 2016 and 2017 as part of her involvement with the Port Stephens Youth Advisory Panel (YAP).

She has also recently assisted with the organisation of the 2017 Port Stephens Youth forum, and was the Youth representative on the board for COPSY (Caring for our Youth Port Stephens).

Mahaylia told News Of The Area, “The YMCA Youth Parliament program is a great way for young people to have their say on real issues in NSW.”

“While it is an amazing educational experience it is also a great way to make friends with young people across the whole state.”

“I’m really excited to represent Port Stephens and bring back some great ideas for Port Stephens Youth,” she said.

YMCA NSW CEO Leisa Hart said the influential program continues to break new ground every year.

“At the YMCA, we believe in the power of inspired young people.”

“By giving our young people a platform to be heard through our YMCA NSW Youth Parliament program, we not only empower them, but open up so many opportunities to improve and strengthen our communities through their ideas.”

“I am incredibly proud that the YMCA NSW Youth Parliament program continues to help shape policy in this state and I look forward to seeing what this year’s talented Youth Parliamentarians can achieve,” she said.

At the end of the sitting week, all pieces of youth legislation will be presented to NSW MPs for consideration.

This YMCA NSW program has had more than half a dozen pieces of youth legislation passed into NSW law over the past 15 years, including the Domestic Violence Disclosure Scheme.

Youth Parliament is managed by YMCA NSW and coordinated by a volunteer taskforce of young people aged between 18 and 22 who facilitate youth-led advocacy, community leadership and education about the parliamentary process.

For more information on the YMCA NSW Youth Parliament, visit


By Rachael VAUGHAN

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