Just seven days remain for people aged under 21 on the Sunshine Coast to enter the Raise Our Voice in Parliament campaign and get a speech they have written read out on the floor of the Australian Parliament. Federal Member for Fisher Andrew Wallace has joined 40 other Parliamentarians in signing up to take part in the campaign.
Mr Wallace said that encouraging young people on the Coast to engage with government and politics has been one of his priorities since his election in 2016.
“I want to help make the Sunshine Coast the place to be for education, as well as employment and retirement. Part of that is about making sure that our terrific local young people are engaged in the important issues of the day and that their voices can be heard. That’s why I set up the Fisher Schools Debating Competition and its why I agreed to take part in Raise Our Voice in Parliament” Mr Wallace said.
Young people aged under 21 are invited to submit a 90 second speech (approximately 230 words) on the topic “What is your vision for Australia in 20 years?” for the chance to have their answer chosen as part of the Youth Voice in Parliament week. MPs from every state and territory will take part, including MPs from the Liberal Party, Australian Labor Party, Australian Greens, The Nationals, and independents. Participating MPs will give up one of their speaking slots in October to deliver the chosen speeches.
“I know from my numerous visits to speak with school groups in Fisher that many of our local young people are eager to learn more about how we are governed and the big challenges that face us. I know from my local schools debating competition that when engaged our young people can write passionate and moving speeches on the most contentious issues. I am looking forward to the opportunity to give another young person in Fisher a direct voice in Parliament and I urge more local young people to have a go!” he said.
Raise Our Voice Australia has partnered with UNICEF, Generation Politics, YWCA, and Run For It to deliver the campaign, which is being co-led by Raise Our Voice Australia’s founder Ashleigh Streeter-Jones and Ruby Bisson.
“I have twice before read speeches by local young people in Parliament as a prize for my Fisher Schools Debating Competition and they have always been very well received by my colleagues in the House of Representatives. MPs want to hear from more young people and this program is a terrific opportunity.” Mr Wallace said.
Speeches will be delivered to Mr Wallace’s office on October 1, which will be the final stage of submission. Successful applicants will be contacted by October 10. Successful speeches will be presented to the Australian Parliament and public during the Youth Voice in Parliament week, which runs from October 18 to 21.
The Raise Our Voice in Parliament campaign is open to anyone living in Australia under the age of 21. Speech submissions are open until September 21. Raise Our Voice Australia will be working with participating MPs to review applications to showcase the most relevant and engaging topical issues.
“So please, if you are a young person in Fisher who wants their voice to be heard on the nation’s biggest stage, put your pen to paper today and make sure you get your 90 second speech in by the 21 September.
For a full list of participating MPs, further information, or to submit a speech, visit raiseourvoiceaustralia.com/youthvoice.