House debates

Wednesday, 23 November 2022

Statements by Members

Raise Our Voice Australia

1:36 pm

Allegra Spender (Wentworth, Independent) Share this | | Hansard source

Today I share a speech by Ewan, a 14-year-old constituent of Wentworth. I'd like to thank Raise Our Voice Australia for helping to facilitate this.

Throughout the course of history, society has had to work together to solve issues, not individually. I personally was an individualist until I saw how much of a difference a collective society makes. But why? Because it allows us to focus on the greater good of our community, implement social rules that focus on promoting selflessness and placing families and community roles on a pedestal on a pedestal. There are many illustrations of this, such as the nation's population rolling up their sleeves to receive a COVID vaccine or the resilience shown by communities after the devastating effects of the Black Summer bushfires. This required mass rebuilding, ensuring no families in the future will suffer from bushfires. A collective society allows us to share the common good and make sure we can have a brighter future. Personally I have faith in our society. I believe we can change the course of the future by learning from our past to make a positive difference.

Thank you, Ewan, for sharing those special words, and thank you to all the young people in Wentworth who have been helping me over the last few weeks to understand what is important to you. You've told me that access to transport and active transport is important. You've told me that clean climate is really important to you. You've told me that gender equity is really important to you. You've told me that youth mental health is absolutely vital. You've told me about consent education. Finally, you've talked to me about inclusion and tolerance.

1:38 pm

Photo of Graham PerrettGraham Perrett (Moreton, Australian Labor Party) Share this | | Hansard source

Raise Our Voice Australia aims to amplify diverse, young, female, trans and non-binary voices to lead conversations in politics. Today I am reading a speech from Kira, a year 11 student from my electorate, who cares deeply about human rights.

As a representative of young Australians I would like the new Parliament to aim for a larger variety of representation and acknowledgement for minority groups across Australia. Only this year have we achieved a place in Parliament for First Nations women, and although this was an amazing change it was due a long time ago. Generation Z is full of brave, diverse but also struggling people who need to know that they are supported and seen. For people of colour who were taught not long ago that their rights weren't as important as others; for LGBTQIA people who were only given permission to marry who we love in 2016; to those with disabilities, who still struggle with the stigma and belief that they are less; and for the young and old First Nations people, who have been in Australia for over 60,000 years and are still struggling to have the statement of their hearts recognised, having someone in Parliament who we, as diverse young people, can relate to, understand and feel comforted by is of utmost importance. Australia is a nation of multicultural diversity. This needs to be reflected by our Parliament, the representatives of our country, now.

Thank you, Kira, for the opportunity to share your words here in your Parliament today.