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Queensland Youth Parliament Program

​Sarah McDonnell
It is not every day that a Year 11 student from a small rural town can call herself the Youth Member of the Burdekin Electorate in the 2019 Queensland Youth Parliament Program.   However, this year I have the honour of that title. On ANZAC Day, I travelled to Brisbane in preparation for the highly anticipated Launch Weekend. My excitement had been building since my acceptance earlier this year and the weekend didn’t disappoint. Being the first day of camp, Friday 26 April was a day full of team building exercises, introductions and the insanely competitive Committee Games.  As a part of the Child Safety, Youth and Women (WYSC) Committee, our designated team colour was pink and costume theme was Pink Ladies. Unfortunately, we didn’t win the Committee Games despite our best efforts at trivia and impromptu dancing - although the judges did love our committee war cry as a parody to Grease Lightning.  Saturday’s theme was 'Parliament' with many lectures throughout the day about parliamentary processes, bill writing and significant political figures.  The highlight of the trip however, was Saturday evening where we all travelled to Parliament House for the official Launch ceremony (even got a private tour!).  Sunday was a bitter sweet day.  As a committee, we decided on the topic of our bill for proposal to Parliament under our category of WYSC and began brainstorming ideas for community engagement. Then it was time to say goodbye to the amazing people for six months, until the Sitting Week in September/October holidays.  To say this weekend was exciting, memorable, challenging, passionate and full of friends is the understatement of the year.  I am so humbled to have this opportunity and words can’t describe how excited I am for Sitting Week and the months ahead... how excited I am to have #myvoiceheard.