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2021 South Australia Youth Parliament leads the way

Strong determination to overcome the impact created by the COVID 19 was a key to the success of the 26th YMCA Youth Parliament, which sat at Parliament House in Adelaide on the week of 12-16 July.

Almost 100 South Australians aged 15-25 from metropolitan and regional areas across the state gathered to debate Youth Bills in the chambers of Parliament House, with a view to presenting them to government for consideration.

Youth Parliament saw young South Australians write and debate Youth Bills covering a broad range of policy areas, including measures tackling ambulance ramping, raising the age of criminal responsibility and establishing green manufacturing in South Australia.

The program is delivered by a volunteer taskforce of young people and aims to:

  • provide a state forum for young people to express their views on matters which concern them in a nonpartisan environment
  • provide the South Australian Parliament with a set of Youth Bills as an expression of young peoples’ concerns and expectations, which can be considered by the Parliament
  • develop the engagement of young people in parliamentary democracy and involve them in public speaking, debating and advocacy

The program’s benefits to young people are immense, leaving them with increased confidence, understanding of parliamentary democracy, skills in debating and teamwork and an increased capacity to be responsible, critical citizens.

The Department of Human Services invested $50,000 in this year’s program which saw the Youth Parliament session open to public attendance.