A chance to Raise Your Voice in parliament

Member for Robertson, Lucy Wicks

Young people aged under 21 living on the Peninsula have until September 24 to write a speech which may end up being read in Federal Parliament by Member for Robertson, Lucy Wicks.

Wicks is one of 40 Federal politicians who will read out a 90 second speech by a young person in Parliament this October as part of the inaugural Raise Our Voice in Parliament campaign.

The MPs, from all major parties and independents, will each read out a speech written by a young person aged under 21 in their electorate.

Central Coast youth who live in the electorate of Robertson are invited to submit a speech on the topic ‘What is your vision for Australia in 20 years?’

Participating MPs will give up one of their speaking slots in October to deliver the chosen speech.

After submissions close, a selection of speeches will be provided to Wicks, who will choose which one to read out in Parliament.

“It’s so important that young people on the Central Coast have their voices heard at the highest levels of government,” Wicks said.

“Your voice matters and can play a role in shaping the future of our region and our nation.”

The campaign is an initiative of Raise Our Voice Australia, which 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 founder Ashleigh Streeter-Jones and Ruby Bisson.

Streeter-Jones has been recognised by Forbes and the Australian Financial Review for her work in getting more young women into politics.

Bisson is a consent advocate, writer, and the director of Incredible Communications.

She ran the Youth Voice in Parliament campaign in 2018 with Parramatta MP, Julie Owens.

“Most young Australians don’t possess a working knowledge of the Australian political system,” Bisson said.

“Many don’t feel valued and heard by our policy makers either.

“Where is our future-focused government?

“Why is there such little recognition of the strength and influence of young people?

“At 18 I was passionate about social issues and hungry to learn more about politics but I couldn’t tell you the difference between the major parties.

“This campaign endeavours to increase the political literacy of young people and connect them with resources to help develop their knowledge, understanding and confidence in Australian politics.”

Streeter-Jones said young people are already leaders, particularly in the community and in non-government organisations.

“We’ve made it our mission to support Australia’s young people, especially young women and those from marginalised backgrounds, and provide them with skills, opportunities, and an understanding of how Australia’s public policies are made so they can create meaningful change for the future they want” she said.

Speeches which are chosen will be delivered to MP’s offices on October 1, with successful speech writers to be notified on October 10.

The speeches will be presented to Parliament during Youth Voice in Parliament week, which runs from October 18-21.

Speeches should be around 200 words and can be submitted at raiseourvoiceaustralia.com/youthvoice.

Media release, Sep 17
Raise Our Voice Australia