VEC to sponsor 2020 YMCA Victoria Youth Parliament

We are excited to announce the Victorian Electoral Commission will once again support the YMCA Victoria Youth Parliament program in 2020, extending our six-year relationship with the program.

For more than 30 years, the Victorian Youth Parliament has given young Victorians the chance to be heard in the most public forum of all – Parliament House Victoria!

Our team sponsorship will give young people from a diverse range of backgrounds a chance they may not otherwise have to attend and participate in the Youth Parliament program.

With the help of a dedicated volunteer taskforce of past youth parliamentarians, 120 young Victorians will be invited to debate issues they are passionate about in the real chambers of Parliament. With the assistance of an experienced taskforce mentor, each team will research and debate an issue they are passionate about and present it in the form of a Bill in the Parliamentary chambers.

After all the bills have been debated and received the assent of the Youth Governor, they are handed to the Minister for Youth who in turn distributes them to the relevant Ministers and Departments of Government for further consideration. This process has resulted in more than 25 Youth Parliament bills being adopted into State legislation; including gender neutral school uniforms and banning lightweight plastic bags.

Beyond the real and potent advocacy of Youth Parliament, the reason we are such strong supporters of the program is that it gives young people a voice, igniting a passion and delivering real and transferable skills for democratic participation later in life.

The program begins with a mandatory residential training weekend in late May, culminating in a five-day residential camp in late June. The camp focuses on three full days of debate in Parliament House, giving participants a chance to flex their newly developed parliamentary skills. The debates will be covered by a fleet of young budding journalists participating in a complementary program: the YMCA Youth Press Gallery. Away from Parliament House, participants take part in a series of personal development sessions at YMCA Lake Dewar Lodge, which develop young people’s teamwork and leadership skills.

Apply to Youth Parliament

Applications are always extremely competitive. To secure a place in this tremendous program, submit an application by 5.00 pm 6 December 2019.

Queries, comments and anecdotes can be emailed to Kergen Angel, Program Director for 2019-2020 at youthparliament.vic@ymca.org.au.

Communities United YMCA Victoria Youth Parliament team and VEC Commissioner Warwick Gately AM. Photo by YMCA Youth Press Gallery.

Communities United YMCA Victoria Youth Parliament team and VEC Commissioner Warwick Gately AM. Photo by YMCA Youth Press Gallery.