Young people who want to shape the future of the state or even the planet have several options to make their mark on the world.
Blue Mountains MP Roza Sage says teens who are passionate about “youth issues, politics and social change” should nominate for the 2012 YMCA NSW Youth Parliament, an annual forum to develop advocacy and leadership skills while learning about parliamentary and legal processes.
“Youth Parliament is one of the longest-running and most successful YMCA youth programs in Australia, with 2013 marking the 12th anniversary of Youth Parliament,” Mrs Sage said.
“It is also a great opportunity for you to develop skills in leadership, public speaking, debating and teamwork,” she said.
“If you are passionate about making change in New South Wales, you will be the voice of young people in your electorate, advising state politicians and decision-makers on matters affecting young people,” she said.
Meanwhile the World Climate Change Challenge is also seeking young Australians to represent the country at a three-day think tank in next year. Entry is open to Australians aged 18 to 28 years.
“In 20-30 years from now, when the disastrous effects of this lack of action is causing catastrophic human disasters on a daily basis, today’s world leaders will either be dead, or in nursing homes,”said Paul Phillips, the founding director of the World Climate Change Challenge.
“The world leaders of tomorrow will by then have inherited these mammoth environmental problems. Problems, which by this time, may be almost impossible to resolve,” he said.
As many as 150 representatives from the 192 United Nations member states and a further 50 young climate change advocates are expected to be selected for the conference tipped to be held somewhere in eastern Europe.
At this year’s conference in Dubai in November, the location of the 2013 challenge will be officially announced.
For more information see www.worldclimatechangechallenge.com.
Nominations for the Youth Parliament run until November 12. Entrants must be aged between 15 and 18 years. This program involves a three-day training camp next April and a week-long residential camp in the July school holidays when youth parliamentarians will take over the NSW Parliament.
For more details visit www.ymcasydney.org/nswyp or contact Mrs Sage’s office on 47513298 for a nomination form.
Last year’s Blue Mountains representative Nicholas Coulshed,16, said the experience was “phenomenal”and helped build his public speaking skills.
“I was around so many like-minded individuals . . . it dispels the stigma about (youth) ‘apathy’ and it made me realise I am a voice for the youth of my electorate.”
To see a youtube video of Nicholas’s experience google Nicholas Coulshed and Youth Parliament.