New ways to connect youth with parliament

Youth Round TableYouth leaders from the Foundation for Young Australians (FYA) and The Push Inc have shared their views and ideas on better connecting young Victorians with parliament.

A roundtable attended by Legislative Council President, Bruce Atkinson and parliamentary staff explored options for youth project placements, digital engagement and a youth network to enhance parliament’s interaction with young Victorians.

The roundtable followed on from a series of youth workshops held across Victoria last year.

The workshops identified some of the barriers that currently exist for young people engaging with parliament.

Young people fear they won’t be taken seriously by parliament and have had negative experiences with institutions that made them feel engagement was “token” and not genuine.

They regard the political system as “intimidating” with some of the processes such as question time being viewed as “outdated” and “hostile”.

Young people also find the language used in parliamentary processes difficult to understand and view the system as overly complex.

When balancing work, study and family commitments, they feel they don’t have sufficient time to engage in processes that are complex and time-consuming.

The roundtable discussions took these views into consideration in developing ideas to address these concerns and enable genuine engagement with youth in ways that interest them, including through interactive digital communications and more meaningful face-to-face opportunities.

The Foundation for Young Australians is preparing a report from the roundtable as a roadmap for initiatives parliament can introduce to better engage with young Victorians.


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 Top: President of the Legislative Council Bruce Atkinson with parliamentary staff and particpants in the roundtable.
Bottom: 'Democracy for Millennials' workshops held across Victoria in 2016. 


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