Speaking up for youth

From left to right: Hugh Krause, Harley Lewis, Paige Simpson, Jerome Iringan, Tamara Seatovic and Brianna Peart.

By Ali Robson

Eighteen young people from Wyndham have had their voices heard in the State Parliament of Victoria.

Students from Tarneit Senior College, Hoppers Crossing Secondary College and Westbourne Grammar School successfully passed Bills at the YMCA Victoria Youth Parliament.

In early July more than 120 young people aged 16-25 debated on issues important to them in the State Parliament.

Hoppers Crossing Secondary College tabled its Party Safe Initiative Bill, which features a program taught in Victorian secondary schools providing a safe environment for young people to talk about drug and alcohol abuse.

The team argued removing stigma helps young people make informed decisions.

“We need to recognise the drug and alcohol issue that exists in Australia,” said Hoppers Crossing student Harley Lewis.

Students from Tarneit Senior College tabled a Bill proposing a recyclable container refund scheme to advocate for the environment.

“Helping the environment globally, starts locally,” said Tarneit student, Wenny Duku.

The Westbourne team proposed regulating heroin use in Victoria through a five-year heroin prescribing program to minimise harm.

“Every Australian life is worth preserving and protecting” Westbourne student Leala Xu said.

The three Bills will be passed on to Minister for Youth Gabrielle Williams, where they will have a chance to become Victorian legislation.

Ali Robson is a member of the YMCA Youth Press Gallery.

This article originally appeared on the Wyndham Star Weekly, July 9, 2019.

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