All Solutions

Tasmanian Youth Parliament

The Problem

Young people are some of the most marginalised members of Tasmanian (and Australian) society.

Young people struggle to have their voices heard. They cannot vote until they are 18, but are often extremely reliant upon the decisions and policies of governments. They also struggle to access ways of expressing their opinions other than voting.

On the flip side, politicians and government agencies often struggle to connect with and understand the needs of young people.

The Solution

Bring interested young people together. Educate them about parliament and their community. Get them to write and debate bills on the issues they care about and the changes they want to make in Tasmania. Then present these bills to politicians.

Youth Parliaments are run all around the country. The Tasmanian model is particularly interesting as it is jointly overseen and funded by the State Government, the YMCA and the Tasmanian Youth Government Association (TYGA). TYGA selects a task force of people under the age of 25 to actually plan and deliver the program every year.

The program is successful because it treats young people with respect and allows them to advocate for themselves. It directly connects young people with good ideas to those decision makers able to implement them. It also empowers the young people who participate - showing them that their opinions matter and that they have the power to make a difference in their communities.

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