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Callaghan College Waratah Campus

Callaghan College Waratah Campus

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Youth Voices in Parliament

Side profile of student sitting forward in his chair with other students to his left and right

Over the last two school holidays, Dexter (Year 10) had the opportunity to engage with civic leadership, policy development and democratic parliamentary debate through his participation in the NSW Youth Parliament.

The program involves young people creating reports with recommendations on issues for change within each government portfolio. Dexter chose to be part of the Justice Committee and assisted to develop a report and recommendations on youth justice and recidivism. All the reports were debated during a mock sitting week in NSW Parliament House.

“The Opposition put up an amendment to replace our committee’s final recommendations,” said Dexter. “Unfortunately, it was this dissenting version that was eventually passed.”

Dexter described the whole experience as a great learning opportunity. “It helped me understand how parliament works, hear young people’s perspectives from across the state, learn about policy development and meet numerous Members of Parliament, as well as the Governor of NSW.

Y NSW’s Youth Parliament program has been operating for 20 years in NSW providing high school-age students with the opportunity to engage with civic leadership and democratic parliamentary debate. Students interested in applying for the 2023 program can register at https://form.jotform. com/222349220030945