YMCA NSW Youth Parliament 2016
Reflections on Youth Parliament
In the school holidays, Sherie Pan and I took part in YMCA NSW Youth Parliament 2016. YMCA NSW Youth Parliament is an apolitical program which seeks for youth to become involved in the policy making process of State Government. The program is a platform for youth to express their political opinions and bring positive change to the community. I represented youth from the electorate of Cronulla and was Shadow minister for South Sydney and Health. We debated proposed bills in front of state politicians including Mike Baird, Troy Grant and Alex Greenwich. Youth Parliament was an extremely valuable experience that Sherie and I will not forget. It was a platform for personal growth and development in a number of ways. We became knowledgeable on a number of topics including the decriminalisation of drugs. Sherie and I were strongly against any form of decriminalisation of illicit substances and Youth Parliament affirmed our views on this topic, despite the bill being passed. Overall, we are extremely thankful that we were given this invaluable opportunity to advocate, debate and voice our opinion on a number of topics we are passionate about.
Lauren McGrath-Wild (Year 10)
This year, I had the privilege of being the Youth Member for Strathfield at the 2016 YMCA NSW Youth Parliament program. Participating in this program has allowed Lauren and I to strengthen our skills in leadership, debating and advocacy, empowering us as voices for our communities. During Parliamentary Sitting Week, we debated important issues over a large variety of portfolios, including support in the workplace for those with mental illnesses, increased recognition for Indigenous Australians and community support for survivors of domestic violence and the legalisation of euthanasia. Through discussion and debate, we were able to hear a wide range of opinions from a diverse group of passionate young people from electorates all across NSW. This was a highly rewarding experience and we are both very grateful that we had the chance to be a part of this program, which has continued to foster our interest in the political affairs of our state and country.
Sherie Pan (Year 10)
Image 1: Lauren McGrath-Wild (Year 10)
Image 2: Lauren with Premier Mike Baird