A refugee from Afghanistan residing in Maddington will represent Thornlie in this year’s YMCA Youth Parliament 2020.
Twenty-four-year-old Nazif Safdari arrived in Perth from Pakistan in late February 2019, but as a refugee he never had the chance to have any representation in government and saw this as the perfect opportunity to speak up and make a difference.
“As a refugee, I know of many young people living on bridging visas and living in limbo in refugee camps and detention centres,” he said.
“Even though it is a federal issue, I want to raise awareness of the issue amongst youth in my local community and the state government.
“I particularly would like to advocate for further educational resources for refugees and immigrants, particularly with assistance for university fees.”
The year 11 Cyril Jackson Senior Campus student caught up with member for Thornlie Chris Tallentire earlier this week to talk about the program and their respective forays into politics.
During the meeting Mr Tallentire asked Mr Safdari how he intended to raise the plight of young refugees in state parliament.
“I am passionate about honouring and respecting the things that make Australia truly unique, our natural and indigenous heritage, and our multicultural and multilingual community,” he said.
“I am thrilled to have such a passionate and engaged local student representing the Thornlie electorate at the YMCA Youth Parliament.”
“As a Member of the Multicultural and Indigenous Affairs Committee, we have drafted the Racial Hate Crime Prosecution and Victim Support Bill and are going to debate in the chamber,” Mr Safdari said.
“I am very much looking forward to this.”
From September 27 to October 2, the 25th Western Australian YMCA Youth Parliament will be providing participants a taste of the parliamentary process.
The program aims to educate, empower and encourage young people to take an active role in their community.
Students also engage in various education and preparation programmes before embarking on the life of a Member of Parliament for a week.