Woolgoolga schoolgirl’s vision for the future heard in Federal Parliament

Year 4 Woolgoolga Public School student Annabelle Thompson’s views on what a future Australia should look like have been heard in Federal Parliament. Photo: Emma Darbin.


A YOUNG Woolgoolga girl’s vision for a future full of equality and free from abuse has made history with a speech written by her read out in Federal Parliament by NSW Senator Jenny McAllister on Wednesday 20 October.

Year 4 Woolgoolga Public School student Annabelle Thompson’s speech was read out in Parliament last week as part of Youth Voice In Parliament week, which was run by Raise Our Voice Australia and aimed at increasing youth voices in Parliament and teaching youths how the Parliamentary system works.

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During the week, more than 40 Australian Members of Parliament and Senators read out speeches in Federal Parliament which were written by youths located in different electorates around the country.

The topic for the speech was ‘What do you want Australia to look like in 20 years?’

Annabelle’s speech about equality and abuse was handpicked by NSW Senator Jenny McAllister to be read out in Federal Parliament in front of her constituents and publicly broadcast.

Annabelle said her mother, Emma Broomfield, found out about the Youth Voice In Parliament speech on Instagram around a month ago and informed Annabelle about the speech, which she was eager to participate in.

Successful applicants, like Annabelle, not only had their speech delivered in Parliament House (and therefore written into the Hansard record forever), but will also be invited to participate in a workshop on the Australian political system, run by Raise Our Voice Australia.

So why focus her speech on such important social issues as abuse and equality?

“I feel like they need to stop,” Annabelle said.

Annabelle’s speech discussed her vision for Australia in 20 years, when she will be aged 30, for the country to contain no abuse or violence and much more equality.

To change these problematic social issues in the future, Annabelle called on Australians to accept LGBTQ+ people in the community and to treat women and men the same.

“This would include giving women the same payment as men and for LGBTQ+ people to be accepted for who they are and who they want to be,” Annabelle wrote in her speech.

“Having more equality would mean when I grow up and my friends grow up, we can get paid well and can be who we want to be without worrying.”

Annabelle’s speech described different forms of abuse including animal abuse, domestic violence and cyberbullying.

“In 2020, 1 in 5 kids have been cyberbullied, 1 in 4 women experienced domestic violence and up to 60,000 cases of animal abuse have been reported,” her speech detailed.

“Having no abuse when I am older would be great because I will be safe, my children will be safe and so will my pets.

“This is my vision for Australia in 20 years and hopefully most of it comes true.”

Annabelle said she felt “special” watching her speech being read out in Parliament while surrounded by her family members and their friends.

Her proud Year 4 teacher at Woolgoolga Public School, Mrs Townsend, also replayed a video recording of her speech being read out in Parliament to show the rest of the students in her year at school last week.



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