Applications are open for the third National Indigenous Youth Parliament (NIYP) to be held in Canberra from 23-29 May 2017.
The NIYP brings together Indigenous leaders of the future, young people prepared to debate issues and look for solutions to tackle Indigenous disadvantage. Participants learn about government and the political process and develop advocacy skills, as influencers for their communities.
Former youth parliamentarian in 2014, Angel Towney, a Wiradjuri woman from Peak Hill, recommends NIYP to young Indigenous leaders everywhere.
“Learning about parliament and meeting people who share my motivation showed me the path to change. I applied for NIYP because I want to create a better quality of life for my community,” Angel said.
“I want to demonstrate to our nation’s leaders that young Indigenous Australians are determined and capable of creating change. NIYP gave me the first insight into how to go about change.”
Angel works at Indigenous Business Australia helping Indigenous groups make investment decisions, to create intergenerational wealth for their communities.
“Growing up, I saw and experienced alcohol and drug abuse, suicide, depression, anxiety, violence, teenage pregnancy and poverty,” Angel said.
“Through the NIYP I made lifelong relationships with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people from across the country, who share my determination to drive change. I learnt how Australia is governed and how decisions are made by the Parliament and found that our parliamentarians genuinely want us to succeed.”
The NIYP’s centrepiece is a two-day simulated parliament held in Old Parliament House, where participants debate bills on issues pertinent to Indigenous Australians. The final bills are presented to the Australian Government for consideration.
Participants will meet with the Prime Minister, the Leader of the Opposition, Members of Parliament and the Governor-General.
Fifty candidates aged 16-25, six from each state and territory and two from the Torres Strait Islands, will be selected based on their contribution to community and their leadership potential.
Applications close on Friday 3 March 2017.