Youth Parliament passes 18 bills for change

01 July 2022

The magic of Youth Parliament has drawn to a close, with the 2022 cohort passing 18 bills for reform.

Proposed legislation including compulsory mental health counselling for secondary schools and sustainability and carbon neutrality in mining will now go to the government for consideration.

From June 27 to 30 more than 100 young Victorians aged 16 to 25 debated a range of issues related to health, education, employment, justice, transport and more.

“Young people from across the state joined together to stand up, raise our voice, and feel heard,” 2022 Youth Governor Kergen Angel said.

“We became a part of something bigger than ourselves: a community.”

Kergen Angel, 2022 Youth Governor

Those in the chambers and public galleries witnessed passionate, high quality, and at times intense argument on matters close to the participants’ hearts.

“I believe the power of listening, really considering another person’s perspective, can change the world,” Angel said.

“I hope we can celebrate all of the young people who proposed bills this week, regardless of the outcome. It is an immense, brave and vulnerable thing to do and something deeply honourable.”

Remus Brasier (Legislative Assembly) and Tom Saxton (Legislative Council) were awarded best speakers.

2022 was the first time since prior to the global pandemic the YMCA facilitated event could be held on site at parliament.

“Being back in the chambers for the first time in two years has made the experience more meaningful and memorable,” Acting CEO Pauline McGillivray said.

“From the first sitting day on Monday to the closing debates on Thursday, the quality of discussions and contributions by young people has been incredible to witness.”

The program has been running since 1987 and in that time more than 20 youth parliament bills have been passed into law.

“Ministers, members and teams of people at Parliament House have supported a unique education for young people on how bills are created, debated and voted into legislation,” McGillivray said.

“We’re thrilled that young people who typically aren’t represented in parliament are able to stand up and have their voices heard.”

2023 Youth Governor Miora Trainor with outgoing Youth Governor Kergen Angel at the closing ceremony.

The young parliamentarians convened in the Legislative Assembly for a closing ceremony where the next Youth Governor was announced. Miora Trainor will take on the role in 2023.

Best speaker awards were also presented to City of Greater Geelong's Remus Brasier (Legislative Assembly) and Northern Victoria's Tom Saxton (Legislative Council) for their individual performances throughout the week.