Monday, 18 October 2021
Youth Voice in Parliament Week: Inclusion
As has been mentioned, this week is Youth Voice in Parliament Week, so with your indulgence, Madam Acting Deputy President, I will be reading a short statement prepared by one of my constituents: 'My name is Hugo Taheny. I'm 20 years old and I live on Narungga country in the electorate of Grey in rural South Australia. I live with an intellectual disability. My vision for Australia in 20 years would be for a more inclusive life for everyone. I hope that people of all abilities, cultures, communities and backgrounds would be working together in a more friendly way to enjoy the beautiful land that we live on. I would like to be treated like a person, not a person with disabilities. I would like people to include me, to talk to me and to help me and my friends contribute positively to make our society a better place. It is so important to be inclusive in every way so that all people feel welcomed and equal. Everyone should be given the same opportunities for school, health care and jobs. When my friends and I are included, we feel proud. When we're not included or treated differently, we feel sad and lonely, like we don't matter as much as others do. It is really important that everyone embraces diversity and opens up to being inclusive in every way to help make the world a better place. Thank you.' Good on you, Hugo, for preparing such a well-considered and articulate speech. I'm honoured to have been allowed to read it in the Senate today.