• Media Release

2 May 2014

Sharon Claydon has personally congratulated Newcastle constituent Rebecca Brown on her selection for the National Indigenous Youth Parliament 2014.

“Rebecca’s selection recognises her community involvement and leadership potential. Being selected from an outstanding field of 230 applicants is no mean feat, and I congratulate Rebecca for being selected and commend her for taking the initiative to get involved in a program that is an opportunity of a lifetime,” Ms Claydon said.

“With the ongoing debate about ways to Close the Gap and the very public discourse about changes to the Racial Discrimination Act, it’s the ideal time for young Indigenous Australians to be exposed to the parliamentary process,” Ms Claydon added.

“Through the youth parliament Rebecca and the other participants will learn first-hand about the parliamentary process and democracy. She will meet young Indigenous Australians from across the country, build networks and hone her skills and confidence as a strong advocate for our community.”

The National Indigenous Youth Parliament is a week-long leadership program for 50 Indigenous Australians aged 16 to 25, to be held in Canberra in May 2014. The youth parliamentarians will learn how government works, how laws are made, will practice public speaking and how to engage the media.

The program includes a two-day simulated parliament in the Museum of Australian Democracy at Old Parliament House where the youth parliamentarians will debate bills on matters important to themselves and their community.

"It is estimated less than half of eligible Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people are enrolled to vote. The aim of the youth parliament is to help close the gap on Indigenous disadvantage in electoral participation by developing young leaders willing to advocate for their community,” Ms Claydon said.

The National Indigenous Youth Parliament is run by the Australian Electoral Commission in collaboration with the YMCA and Museum of Australian Democracy at Old Parliament House.

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