By Minyue Ding
Essendon resident, Alex Tyndall has successfully passed a Bill proposing more funding for university accommodation at the 2019 YMCA Victoria Youth Parliament on the first of July.
Alex and his team members Declan Negus, Bree Booth, Miguel Regaio and Aisha Warsame tabled a Bill titled, Government Funding of University Accommodation.
Youth Parliament is a program designed to give young Victorians between the ages of 16 – 25 a chance to be heard at the highest levels of State Government on a wide range of issues relevant to young people’s lives.
Alex emphasised that education is a human right, but lack of accommodation could be a barrier.
“If accommodation is the only thing stopping people from getting an education, why not help them get there?” he said.
According to University Colleges Australia (UCA) in 2014, Australia had 74,482 places in university colleges, but only 40% of the places are university owned and managed.
Alex’s initial idea came from his long commute from Essendon to Deakin University which sees him travelling for up to four hours a day.
“I travel on a train from Oak Park station to Flinders Station, and then from Flinders Station to Box Hill Central. After that you need to take the bus, which is unreliable, to Deakin University,” he explained.
The group member Aisha Warsame had a similar experience.
“I want to join clubs and get involved at lots of things at uni, but I can’t because I have to travel four hours a day,” she said.
The group admits that their Bill is idealistic but want politicians to hear about the concerns of young people.
More than 30 Youth Parliament Bills have gone on to become Victorian legislation including the mandatory wearing of bike helmets and over the counter availability of emergency contraception.