CELEBRATING 30 YEARS OF THE VICTORIAN YOUTH PARLIAMENT

120 young Victorians will debate current affairs and have their voices heard in the parliamentary chambers this week.

Minister for Youth Affairs Jenny Mikakos officially opened the 30th YMCA Victoria Youth Parliament program this morning.

Over three sitting days, delegates aged between 16 and 25 will debate and discuss legislation to be passed onto the Andrews Labor Government for consideration.

Alongside the action, 18 young aspiring journalists will form the YMCA Press Gallery, to cover the debates and pitch stories to media outlets.

Twenty teams from across Victoria will cover a variety of topics, including issues such as a ban on smoking for those born after 2015, and the possibility of drug testing at music festivals.

It’s an opportunity for delegates to voice the issues and concerns of their peers and have their views heard at the highest levels of State Government.

As part of the program, delegates also take part in learning and development opportunities throughout the year, including public speaking and leadership training.

Tomorrow Ms Mikakos will join Youth Parliament delegates and alumni, the Youth Governor of Victoria, Ms Caitlin Meyer, and the YMCA to celebrate 30 years of Youth Parliament.

The event will celebrate the many achievements of Youth Parliament over the last 30 years. Some of these successes include the introduction of ground-breaking legislation in Victoria, including:

  • drug testing for drivers
  • mandatory use of bike helmets
  • legal recognition for carers of people with a disability.

The Victorian Government provides more than $100,000 to the YMCA Victoria Youth Parliament each year.

For more information on Youth Parliament, go to www.vicyouth.ymca.org.au

Quotes attributable to Minister for Families and Children Jenny Mikakos

“We’re celebrating 30 years of achievements and an exciting future ahead, with another 120 delegates bringing important issues and lively debate to Youth Parliament this year.”

“The YMCA Victoria Youth Parliament is a successful and important program to ensure young people have their say, are represented on important issues, and can participate in decision-making.”