Hume Youth YMCA Parliament Program

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Applications are now closed

The Youth Engagement and Pathways Unit are organising a team of six local young people who are passionate about making a difference.

The YMCA Victorian Youth Parliament supports young people aged 16 to 25 to speak up and be heard about issues that they are passionate about.

You will be supported to write a Bill addressing a state-based issue that they would like to see changed or added into Victorian Legislation. Bills will be introduced into the Youth Parliament, debated and voted upon during the sitting week held in the chambers of Parliament House, Victoria in 2022. Upon conclusion of the sitting week, all Youth Parliament Bills are officially handed to the Minister for Youth to be disseminated to the relevant state Members of Parliament.

In addition to debates, Victorian Youth Parliamentarians will engage in a range of personal and professional development sessions, such as attending residential camps. Residential camps will also provide the Youth Parliamentarians space to engage in the community of changemakers coming together from across the state to partake in the program.

What you will receive

  • A three-day residential training weekend and six-day residential program, including full catering, accommodation and transport to and from Parliament House.
  • Three days of facilitated debating in the chambers of the Parliament House of Victoria.
  • An exclusive function held in honour of the Youth Parliamentarians.
  • Coaching and mentoring from a Parliamentary Training Taskforce mentor for the duration of the program.
  • Access to a Communications and Stakeholder Engagement Taskforce mentor for the duration of the program.
  • The opportunity to work alongside a YMCA Youth Press Gallery journalist to develop media for the team’s Bill, closer to the program date.
  • A suite of best practice leadership and teamwork training that can be applied to a multitude of contexts beyond the program.

Term 1 to Term 2

In the months prior to the training weekend, teams will meet periodically with a mentor from the Taskforce. In these meetings, participants will brainstorm and elect their three most preferred Bill topics. Once a topic is chosen by the group, participants will then draft and finalise their Bill. Mentors will also introduce teams to parliamentary debates. Young people will also be given the opportunity to meet with stakeholders and/or Member of Parliament to discuss their Bill and ideas for change.

Training weekend (residential camp)

The three-day residential training weekend combines a variety of skills and knowledge building to prepare participants for the Youth Parliament sitting week. Across the weekend participants will:

  • Learn the basics of democracy and voting.
  • Be trained in talking to the media and be interviewed by the Youth Press Gallery about their Bill for articles to be published.
  • Complete their training on parliamentary etiquette and debate.
  • Engage in practice parliamentary debates.
  • Meet the chamber (group of four other teams) who they will work with as a larger team on the Youth Parliament sitting week.
  • Develop soft skills such as confidence and leadership through experiential learning in recreational sessions.
  • Have the opportunity to run for extra leadership positions such as chamber leader and Youth Premier.

Sitting week

The six-day residential ‘Week of Youth Parliament’ combines debating and recreation for participants to apply the training they have received and continue to engage in the community of changemakers established on the training weekend. On three of the days (27, 28, and 30 June), participants and the Taskforce will travel by bus to the Parliament House of Victoria to conduct debates. Teams will sponsor (debate for) their Bill and be the main refuter (debate against) for one other team’s Bill. In all other debates, participants will collaborate with their chamber to speak either for or against other Bills. Participants will also be given the opportunity to give an adjournment speech: a two-minute speech directed to a state Member of Parliament about one of their passions that needs to be changed or improved within the state of Victoria. Back at the campsite, participants will be provided with many opportunities to engage with their peers through recreational and social activities.

Commitment

All team members should be committed to participating in all aspects of the YMCA Victorian Youth Parliament program as explained in the program breakdown. By applying to be a Parliamentarian you are committing to the following, attending meetings with their mentor (usually 4-5 meetings throughout the program) attend and participate in a training weekend and the full residential components of the program. This should be agreed to prior to signing up to join the team.

This program is in collaboration with the YMCA and Youth Engagement and Pathways Unit.