Ryan encourages young people to take part in Youth Parliament

25 March 2015

Young people from across Victoria who want the opportunity to influence Victorian law have the opportunity to do so as part of the YMCA Youth Parliament program, Member for Euroa and Deputy Leader of The Nationals Steph Ryan said today.

Ms Ryan said applications for the 2015 Victorian Youth Parliament program were now open to interested young people between the ages of 16-25.

“Youth Parliament is a fantastic opportunity for young people to have their say on the issues affecting their lives,” Ms Ryan said.

“It is also an opportunity for them to put forward their own ideas for possible solutions around how issues may be dealt with.

“Participants take part in a nine day residential training program that culminates in a formal debate in the Victorian Parliamentary Chambers.”

Ms Ryan said that part of the process involved learning how to draft and debate legislation and that more than 20 Bills passed by previous Youth Parliament’s had gone on to become law.

“The issues raised during Youth Parliament are always topical and reflect what is important to young people,” Ms Ryan said.

“Issues that have gone on to become law from previous Youth Parliament’s include the mandatory wearing of bike helmets, nightclub safety reforms, blood alcohol content for those accompanying learner drivers and the legal recognition for carers of people with disabilities.

“The fact that the bills drafted and debated by participants have the potential to be passed and become law is exciting and reflects the importance of the program,” Ms Ryan said.

Ms Ryan said participants would have the opportunity to learn and practice key skills including public speaking, leadership skills, research and reasoning.

“All of this training and experience can also aid participants in furthering their education and employment opportunities.

“I encourage any young people who think they might be interested in the experience to apply,” Ms Ryan said.

The 2015 Youth Parliament will sit on Monday 29 June, Tuesday 30 June and Thursday 2 July 2015.

For more information or to apply, visit: http://www.vicyouth.ymca.org.au/programs/youth-parliament.html

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