Youth Parliament 2014: Getting Started

Will and Oussama share their experiences with Youth Parliament and their hopes for the year ahead



2014 Youth Parliament Youth Governor Will Stojkovski looks back at the YP training weekend and speaks with Oussama Abou-Zeid, 2014 Youth Premier.

The weekend of 30 May 2014 was not normal. It wasn’t mundane, it wasn’t dreary (despite the weather) and it definitely was not normal.

On the weekend in question, 120 young people from across Victoria came together to take part in a training weekend as part of the YMCA Victorian Youth Parliament, and it was bloody glorious.

Raw Enthusiasm and Passion

YCMA Youth Parliament brings together 20 teams of six participants each from across Victoria, each bringing forth a piece of legislation that they will eventually debate in the State Parliament chambers in July 2014.

It’s difficult to describe the kind of raw enthusiasm, passion and eagerness to create change that the 2014 program and its participants have already demonstrated. The training weekend itself is intented to prepare participants for the week in July when all of their hard work comes to fruition.

From learning about procedure to improving their public speaking and practising debates, the parliamentary side of the weekend truly showcased the talent and dedication of this year’s participants.

As a volunteer leader of the camp, it was nothing short of incredible for me to see – as we see every year – young people from completely different parts of the state, with different backgrounds, beliefs, values and personalities, already forming the strong friendships and bonds that really make Youth Parliament what it is.

An important part of the training weekend involves voting for the Youth Premier. Youth Premier (or “Prem Prem”, as they are affectionately known by participants) is a particularly important role. They are the representative of all Youth Parliament participants across Victoria.

This year, it was our pleasure to see Oussama Abou-Zeid elected as Youth Premier. Ousamma will now take on the privilege and responsibility of representing the program’s participants for the duration of Youth Parliament. He will also advocate for a youth voice in Victoria.

Hearing the Voice of Youth

An inspiring individual, Oussama is joined by many others in his mission to have the voice of young people heard in Parliament and taken seriously in the state.

The most exciting part about the training weekend is that it is only the start of the program. That weekend made clear the potential of this year’s program, and it could not be any greater.

On the weekend of 30 May 2014, young people from across the state came together and demonstrated their willingness to create change. Some travelled half an hour, some travelled more than four hours, but – if you’ll excuse the cliché – their collective journey has only just begun.

Yes, it was anything but an ordinary weekend. And I for one am really bloody excited.



For the full article please follow the link to Youth Central

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