Senate debates

Tuesday, 19 October 2021

Statements by Senators

Youth Voice in Parliament Week

1:46 pm

Photo of Andrew BraggAndrew Bragg (NSW, Liberal Party) Share this | | Hansard source

This afternoon I would like to use my time to speak in the Youth Voice in Parliament Week, and I will be reading the following words written by Jai Briggs-Ford, who is a young man living in Raymond Terrace but who grew up in Moree. He's in year 12 and wants to be a doctor. His words are: 'My name is Jai Briggs-Ford. I am a proud young Aboriginal man from Moree, located in the Gamilaroi nation. I am currently studying at the Hunter River High School, where I work hard to achieve the high marks in order to accomplish my career aspiration of becoming a doctor. Recently, I was appointed school captain, which was a great honour. I am also President of the Aboriginal Education Consultative Group and an NRL youth advocate. So what is my vision for Australia in 20 years? I would love to see Australia and the government really push to have one of the best education systems in the world. This benefits not only the rich upper-class society but also the socioeconomically disadvantaged, which includes a large proportion of Aboriginal people. As a proud Aboriginal man, it truly pains me to see such a large majority of Aboriginal people living in poverty, barely surviving from one day to the next. Malcolm X once said, "Education is the passport for the future, for tomorrow belongs to those who prepared for it today." The Australian government needs to prepare our young Aboriginal people of today with an affordable, culturally appropriate, world-class education system to build knowledge, as knowledge is power. Taking steps now to provide Aboriginal people with an education passport can break the cycles of poverty. In my vision of Australia in 20 years, the education passport will provide more Aboriginal doctors, nurses, lawyers, teachers, firemen, politicians and so on.' Thank you.

1:48 pm

Photo of Rex PatrickRex Patrick (SA, Independent) Share this | | Hansard source

Today I'll be delivering a speech on behalf of Maddy Nyp, as part of the Youth Voice in Parliament Week:

My electorate is Mayo.

We live in the era of change. Personally, I am facing one of the biggest changes in my life right now; leaving school.

The future I pitch for myself is bright—finally being able to focus on what I love, on having the freedoms of the adult world.

But, there is also fear—fear of the unknown, of change.

One thinks of the threats our country faces, of the fear tainting our future.

The biggest that comes to mind is climate change—especially in the months leading up to UNFCCC [United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change].

The rules for the future are being set, and change is beginning.

In twenty years, I would pray that my family's property remains green.

That those who live on the coast do not lose their homes.

That disease, much like what we face now, remains absent.

I have been privileged to be raised alongside nature. I'd pray that the generations to come are as lucky.

History is a cruel mirror. We cannot choose how we are reflected by it.

But if we have any hope of our generations looking back at us favourably, we need to act.

We need to listen to the voices of youth. We need decisive and swift actions. Members of parliament, the time for change is now.

Good on you, Maddy. Thank you for this message to your parliament. Senators, we should be listening.

1:50 pm

Photo of Patrick DodsonPatrick Dodson (WA, Australian Labor Party, Shadow Assistant Minister for Reconciliation) Share this | | Hansard source

[by video link] I am honoured to deliver a contribution to the Youth Voice in Parliament Week from Broome Senior High School students. They have written their vision as follows:

We are a group of 13 and 14 year-olds from many and diverse backgrounds.

Firstly, we believe that if Australia is welcoming to everyone then we can all live peacefully.

We want Australia to be a place of equality, no matter what race, gender, sexuality, religion or jobs.

We want different languages to be kept alive, and we support the goal of our Yawuru people for Broome to be a bilingual town.

Secondly, we are concerned about the environment.

As people of the Kimberley, our vision is for a cleaner and greener environment.

We want to see the land cared for in the way that Traditional owners have been doing for centuries.

Thirdly we want an Australia where there are plenty of economic opportunities, no matter where you live.

So that youth can have more career opportunities, we would like to see more money going into public schools like ours.

And we want affordable houses for everyone.

Fourthly, we see the impact that crime has on communities every day.

We want young people to have access to supports so they don't feel like they have no choice but to commit crimes.

Fifthly, we are the Academic Extension Program class and are passionate about action against climate change.

We have studied the impact humans have had on our world and we've thought about how this damage can be reversed.

In Broome we consider ourselves lucky to have largely untouched environments around us, but we cannot just stand and watch as the planet deteriorates.

Lastly, in Broome we have been pretty safe—

(Time expired)