What is Queensland Youth Parliament (QYP)?
The YMCA QYP is a fantastic opportunity for youth to create real change in Queensland. Youth Members are the voice of young people in their electorates, advising politicians and decision-makers across the state. They’ll also be immersed in unique educational opportunities; experiencing parliamentary operation first hand; mingling with members of Government and Opposition; and having their say in fiery debates about topical issues.
Beyond bridging the gap between legislators and youth in Queensland, QYP also provides an outstanding opportunity for personal development, be that in leadership skills, public speaking ability or the lifelong friendships forged throughout the experience.
Who runs QYP?
A volunteer team of young people (hyperlink to EXECUTIVE page) work together to bring the program to life. Led by a fearless leader(/Program Coordinator), 17 past participants are trained, licensed and supported by the Brisbane YMCA to ensure that this is truly a premier youth event – organised by youth, for youth.
Who can be involved in QYP?
Anyone aged 15-25 who regularly breathes in and out can nominate for QYP. All you need to have a great time in the program is some enthusiasm – we’ll teach you all you need to know about parliamentary debate, Bill writing, dealing with the media and more! Like the real Queensland Parliament, however, we can only select so many Youth Members, so if you miss out on your first attempt, we’d love to hear from you again the year after.
Does QYP cater for young people with disabilities?
Absolutely. We will do anything and everything in our ability to cater for any physical, mental or other disability – feel free to give us a call or flick us an email to ask about your specific situation.
How often does QYP occur?
QYP runs annually from March – October, and is now entering its 22nd year. 93 Youth Members are selected from nominations each January, and competition is fierce.
How much will the program cost?
The cost to participate in Queensland Youth Parliament 2017 will be $400 for each Youth Member. This is a 5-star, all-inclusive, deluxe package price, and includes accommodation, meals and transport between Camp North Pine and QLD Parliament House whilst on both residential camps. Whilst this fee does not cover transport to and from the residential camps, the Exec are available to assist rural and remote Youth Members in seeking travel reimbursement from the YMCA.
Being a Youth Member is a unique chance to create change, so Federal and State Members of Parliament, youth groups, clubs such as Rotary and Lions and local businesses are often willing to sponsor some or all of the participation costs. Just in case the deal wasn’t sweet enough already; once you’ve been selected as a Youth Member, we’ll send you a Sponsorship Pack with heaps of tips, ideas, templates and pointers for approaching your community for support.
What sort of time commitment does QYP involve?
QYP runs throughout the year, so you’ll usually have a few months to complete anything that the program requires of you! You’ll also be working alongside other Youth Members in your committee, so the workload is often a shared one. Many full-time university and high school students have completed the program without difficulty, so you certainly won’t be losing sleep over QYP.
However, it is expected that once you commence the program, you remain engaged in it until the end – you have been selected over other youth in your electorate, and to pull out is to do a disservice to them and to yourself.
What do Youth Members do?
Well, you’ll start by meeting each other and the Exec at Launch Weekend in April. After you split up into your committees, you’ll get to work with your Mentor: brainstorming, researching, writing, editing and submitting a Bill and Amendments to deliberate in Parliament. Come late October, you’ll see each other’s smiling faces again at Residential Sitting Week, when Youth Members take over the Legislative Assembly Chamber of the Queensland Parliament. Over the course of 4 days, lively debate, interjections and banter fill the Chamber as each committee presents their Bill for debate and possible amendment.
Every participant also gets a two minute chance to talk about an issue of their choice, usually one of personal experience or one relevant to their electorate.
What happens to the Bills after Residential Sitting Week?
After you’ve had a chance to debate and hopefully pass the 2017 Youth Bills in Parliament, they will be officially delivered to the Youth Governor for her signature and assent. After this, the now Youth Acts will be handed directly to the Premier, for distribution to Government Ministers and Members of Parliament for consideration.
Do I have to know anything about politics?
Certainly not! There are no pop quizzes on the Cabinet makeup or the parliamentary process, and in the capable hands of the Exec, you’ll learn everything you need to know in sessions throughout the year.
Do I have to be a member of a political party?
Absolutely not! But we really don’t mind - as long as you leave partisan politics at the door, you’ll fit right in at QYP - and we promise there’ll be plenty of non-political-partying to enjoy anyways.