YMCA Youth Parliament, supported by the Victorian Government, is an opportunity for young Victorians to stand up, talk hard and be heard.
What is Youth Parliament?
Youth Parliament involves 20 teams of six people who:
- learn to draft and debate legislation
- conduct research into issues
- receive training in public speaking and leadership skills.
More than 20 Bills passed by Youth Parliament have gone on to become law, including laws covering mandatory wearing of bike helmets and nightclub safety reforms. Any Victorian aged 16–25 who wants to have their voice heard is eligible to participate.
What's involved and when does it happen?
Participants take part in a nine-day residential training program that culminates in them formally debating Bills in the Victorian Parliamentary chambers. As part of a team of six, youth parliamentarians are mentored through the process of writing a Bill (an unpassed piece of legislation) before presenting and debating the merits of their Bill in the chambers of Parliament House.
Assistance with fundraising and sponsorship
The cost of participating in Youth Parliament is around $4,000 per team of six. If you or your team need help with fundraising or support, there are a number of ways the Youth Parliament Taskforce can help with fundraising or finding sponsorship if necessary for participating teams.
Information about deposits, discounts and obtaining sponsorship will be forwarded to successful applicants. Some schools, community groups or YMCA-managed centres sponsor teams to attend. Additional funding assistance is also available for rural and regional teams, who should indicate on the application form if they require additional financial support.
For more information about assistance and sponsorship, check out the Youth Parliament Support for the Teams page.
Youth Press Gallery
In line with the YMCA’s goal of empowering young people, the YMCA Youth Press Gallery is an opportunity for young people to get experience in communication and journalism.
While Youth Parliamentarians fill the chambers of the Victorian Parliament, young people will also report back on Youth Parliament, filing stories for the YMCA Press Gallery website, hitting the airwaves and writing print articles for publications across the state.