Victoria’s future Parliamentarians have made their voices heard on the issues that matter to them, like improved disability access, family violence prevention and combating online gambling advertising at this year’s YMCA Victoria Youth Parliament.
Now in its 32nd year, the Victorian Youth Parliament brings together students from across the state to debate and vote on mock Bills to better understand, and become more engaged with the parliamentary process, while budding journalists report on their work.
At the close of this year’s event and three days of robust debate, 120 young people passed 19 bills, which will now be referred to relevant ministers in the Andrews Labor Government. Since Youth Parliament began, more than 20 bills passed during the event have become law.
The young parliamentarians come from all over Victoria, including Melbourne, Dandenong Ranges, Castlemaine, Tarneit, Wonthaggi, Mildura and Philip Island.
Minister for Youth Affairs Jenny Mikakos congratulated those who took part in the event, including Livi Beasley, who was selected to become the next Youth Governor of Victoria. She is the first member of the Deafhood team to earn the honour and takes over from current Youth Governor James Abbott.
This year’s Bills ranged from mandating public availability of sanitary products to introducing cautionary labels into single-use water bottles to providing compulsory captioning at Victorian cinemas.
Parliamentarians, mayors and members of the Victorian Disability Advisory Council were among those attending this year’s YMCA Victoria Youth Parliament, with proceedings captured by 22 aspiring journalists selected for the YMCA Press Gallery.
The Labor Government has supported the YMCA Victoria Youth Parliament for the past four years and has provided additional funds to ensure the participation of people with a disability with $154,000 allocated to support the program this year.
Quotes attributable to Minister for Youth Affairs Jenny Mikakos
“Youth Parliament is as much about giving young people exposure to Victoria’s parliamentary system as it is connecting our parliamentarians with young voices.”
“Seeing this year’s cohort present and debate on what mattered to them reminds me of why I got involved in government – congratulations to all, and I look forward to seeing where your ideas end up.”
Quotes attributable to 2018 Victorian Youth Governor James Abbott
“Once again, this year’s participants have done an outstanding job in proving that young people want to make a great change, and hopefully, some issues debated this week will be addressed in the chambers again soon.”
Reviewed 19 August 2020