On Monday 21 October 2019, 93 children and young people took over Parliament House during Children’s Week. ACYP continued their valued partnership with YMCA to deliver NSW Children’s Parliament. The one-day program was offered to children and young people in years 7-10. The children and young people came from areas across NSW including Sydney, the Illawarra, Hunter, South East, Riverina Murray, New England, North Coast, West and Far West.
On the day, the NSW Advocate for Children and Young People Andrew Johnson provided advocacy training and the CEO of YMCA, Susannah Le Bron gave encouraging and helpful advice to the young people. Members of Parliament, Mr Dugald Saunders MP, Ms Jodie Harrison MP, and The Hon. Natalie Ward MLC attended the event and spoke with the children and young people as part of a panel. The MPs discussed their roles as elected representatives, how they came to be Members as well as the issues they are passionate about.
The young people were also given tours through NSW Parliament House and they learnt about parliamentary and legislative processes. They then participated in consultations where they were asked questions about what is working well and what is not working well in their local areas.
Leading up to the day, the young people were asked to prepare a one-minute speech about a topic of their choice. They then rehearsed their speeches together in groups. In the afternoon, the young people presented their speeches in the Legislative Assembly which was presided over by Andrew Johnson and Susannah Le Bron.
NSW Children’s Parliament provides an opportunity for children and young people to share their voice and bring forward their views on the topics important to them. The speeches by the young people will be available on this page soon.