Young political hopefuls step up

Young political hopefuls step up

Local Youth Parliament representatives from left to right back row, Samuel Anderson from Piara Waters representing the Jandakot electorate, Shafaq Duadpota from Piara Waters representing the Armadale electorate, Katie Russell from Huntingdale representing the Southern River electorate, Amit Kunnath from Maddington representing the Thornlie electorate. From row, left to right, Steven Thiele - from Victoria Park representing the Victoria Park electorate, Ellie Birch from Cardup representing the Darling Range electorate and Amani Kariuki from Queens Park representing the Cannington electorate.

Tomorrow’s leaders please stand up.

That’s exactly what a group of young people have done as they prepare to enter the heady world of politics in this year’s Y WA Youth Parliament program.

This unique program provides young West Australians the opportunity to engage in a once in a lifetime political leadership experience. 59 young people from across Western Australia make up the diverse group chosen to represent their local electorates and preparations are underway to determine which topics will be debated covering issues from any State Government portfolio.

One of those youngsters who is eager to make a difference is Shafaq Duadpota from Piara Waters who will be representing the Armadale electorate.

Shafaq said she has always held a key interest in how politics and particularly the judicial system works.

“The judicial arm of the government interests me as I’m intrigued by how court cases play out. It’s like watching a gripping story unfold right before your eyes,” she said.

“You have all these different characters – the lawyers, the judge, the witnesses – each playing their part in the drama. And just like in a story, there are twists and turns, unexpected surprises, and moments of high tension.”

Shafaq said young leaders need to step up and take responsibility now.

“Young people hold the keys to tomorrow’s world,” she said.

“This opportunity to hold the key is given to our young generation to make decisions that will affect the upcoming generation.

“Our fresh perspectives and bold ideas drive innovation and change. By giving us a voice, we unleash a powerhouse of creativity and passion, shaping a future that reflects our hopes and dreams to make a change in society.”

The four-month program, run by the Y, offers a unique opportunity for young people to actively participate in the democratic process and have their voice heard by policy makers.

Offering an insight into the world of Australian politics, participants have already met to discuss the training they will receive which will include three full day training workshops as well as online meeting as they draft, debate, and advocate for mock youth-focused legislation.

“The Y WA Youth Parliament program, now in its 29th year, offers young people an insight into the workings of government and policy development. What makes it so special is that it aims to be truly representative of the views and concerns of the state’s next generation of community leaders,” Y WA chief executive Dr Tim McDonald said.

The program will culminate in members attending Parliament House on 8, 9 and 11 July to participate in a live debate in the chamber. On completion all bills are presented to Members of the Government and Opposition for their review and consideration, as well as being presented to the Governor of Western Australia, the Lord Mayor of Perth and the WA Department for Communities.