Junior lawmakers tackle issues of concern to youth

Roza Sage MP says the two Blue Mountains students chosen to participate in this year’s YMCA NSW Youth Parliament will be fantastic representatives for the region.

 Blackheath resident Sophie Beale and Lylapearl Appel, of Hazelbrook, will attend a training camp during April in preparation for the parliament from July 6 - 12.

Mrs Sage said it would be a great opportunity for Sophie and Lylapearl —both former participants in NSW junior parliament —to learn more about the parliamentary process. 

“It is so refreshing to meet two young individuals with such a strong interest in the important role played by government,” said Mrs Sage. “Both Sophie and Lylapearl have a keen intellect and I have no doubt they will be valued and active members of the youth parliament.” 

Lithgow High School student Sophie is a student representative council member who is interested in developing programs to address youth homelessness and creating better education opportunities for disadvantaged young people. 

“I feel that the skills I will learn from participating in the program will help me in becoming a better advocate for my community,” said Sophie. 

Penrith High School student Lylapearl said she had enjoyed creating environmental policy in regard to recycling at junior parliament and was looking forward to tackling new issues during youth parliament. 

“Junior parliament was an incredible experience and there are so many things I learnt and ideas we discussed,” said Lylapearl. “I am excited about continuing this at youth parliament and bringing new ideas back to the Mountains.” 

 The Penrith representative at the parliament will be Hartley Dhyon from Emu Heights, who was nominated by the local MP, Stuart Ayres. 

“Hartley is an enthusiastic, well-articulated young man and will be a great representative for Penrith,” Mr Ayres said. 

“Hartley will visit parliament and learn more about the parliamentary process including writing bills and experiencing what is like to be an MP.” 

In 2012 and 2013 Hartley was elected to the student representative council of St Dominic’s College and also represented his school at the Catholic Schools Debating Association.

The youth parliament offers young people aged 15-18 a way to put across their ideas about issues that concern them. Their opinions and concerns of young people in NSW are heard by those who have the power to make laws. 

Young people can be nominated by members of the NSW Parliament or apply directly.

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