Minister for Indigenous Affairs, Nigel Scullion, will tonight welcome 50 young Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people to the National Indigenous Youth Parliament (NIYP) 2014 in Canberra, to be held this weekend at Old Parliament House.
The participants were chosen from 230 applicants based on their community leadership activities, what they would bring to the event and the benefit they would take home. They are in the national capital to learn about advocacy, active community leadership and democratic processes.
“These future leaders have put their hand up to attend the NIYP because they see the issues facing Indigenous Australians and are determined to do something about them,” Minister Scullion said.
“It is inspiring to see so many applicants who are dedicated to developing leadership skills and putting them into practice.
“Over the week of the NIYP, they will be learning about and discussing issues that are important to them, their families and their communities, and to the nation as a whole.
“These young people bring with them significant life experience, knowledge and thinking about the issues facing Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, and what can be done to overcome disadvantage.
“Issues like improving school attendance, the Australian Government’s No.1 priority for Indigenous people, cannot be solved without the valuable knowledge of young, local people such as the participants of the NIYP.”
One of the key issues participants will discuss during the Indigenous Youth Parliament over the weekend at Old Parliament House is recognising Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people as the First Australians in the Constitution.
“It is important to talk about practical issues in Government with the participants and constitutional recognition is a key issue,” Minister Scullion said.
“This is a great opportunity to learn about the process of making a change to the Constitution, which is something that the Government is absolutely committed to happening.
“Each young person involved in the Indigenous Youth Parliament represents their state of territory and I look forward to seeing how these future leaders of their communities, or perhaps the country, grow in knowledge and confidence over the next week of the NIYP.”
The NIYP is hosted by the Australian Electoral Commission, YMCA and Museum of Australian Democracy at Old Parliament House.
Download media release:
2014-05-29 National Indigenous Youth Parliament.pdf