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South Australia's Young Leaders Speak Up

Young South Australians care deeply about what happens in their state. Young people have a passionate and important voice, but too often they are not heard in public debate. One place where young people are heard is the South Australian Youth Parliament. The YMCA South Australia Youth Parliament is a youth-led program which gives SA’s young people the opportunity to have their say while learning about democracy and law-making, and building skills and relationships. Uniquely among South Australian youth programs, Youth Parliament debates are held in the House of Assembly and Legislative Council of state Parliament House.

In the 25th Youth Parliament, held in September 2020, young South Australians wrote and debated Youth Bills in a broad range of policy areas, including regional health and road safety, foster-care reform and STEM industry growth. This included a Bill on abortion accessibility, which was substantially similar to the Health Care (Safe Access) Amendment Bill 2020 (SA) that subsequently was passed in state parliament.

The 26th Youth Parliament has now opened applications to South Australians aged 15 to 25. The Youth Parliament will hold its training weekend on the 17th and 18th of April, and its residential parliament week from the 11th to the 16th of July. Youth parliamentarians need no experience or knowledge in debating or politics to be successful. 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 2021 Youth Governor, 19 year-old Dante McDonald of Port Noarlunga, is immensely excited about this year’s program:

“Being a Youth Parliamentarian changed my life. Our program gives young people the power to make South Australia a better place for them and their communities and I cannot wait to see the Youth Bills, debates and growth of the members of the 2021 Youth Parliament.”

Applications for the 2021 YMCA SA Youth Parliament are now open. For more information, please visit our website: https://www.sa.ymca.org.au/wha...