You need to be aged between 16 and 25 and be part of a six member team to have your voice heard in Youth Parliament.
Every year in the first week of July, YMCA Victoria Youth Parliament offers young Victorians an opportunity to stand up, talk hard and be heard. Any Victorian aged 16 to 25 who wants to have their voice heard is eligible to participate. The program is supported by the Victorian Government.
What is Youth Parliament?
At Youth Parliament, 20 teams of six young people learn to draft and debate legislation, conduct research into issues and receive training in public speaking and leadership skills.
More than 20 bills passed by youth parliament have gone on to become law. Some of these have included mandatory wearing of bike helmets, nightclub safety reforms, and zero blood alcohol content for those accompanying learner drivers.
Participants take part in a nine-day residential training program that culminates in them formally debating bills in the Victorian Parliamentary chambers.
Youth Parliamentarians are mentored through the process of writing a bill (an un-passed piece of legislation) before presenting and debating the merits of their bill in the chambers of Parliament House.
How to apply
Applications for Youth Parliament are currently closed, but they open in February/March every year.
Those interested will need to form a team of six 16 to 25 year olds and apply directly to YMCA Victoria.
There is a cost per team for participating in the Youth parliament program, however you can contact the YMCA to discuss the possibility of sponsorship, support or subsidy arrangements.