Annalise Selected For Youth Parliament 2020
Year 12 Politics & Law Student, Annalise Pearce, has just been selected for Youth Parliament 2020. We asked Annalise about this amazing opportunity and her passion for politics.
What is Youth Parliament?
Youth parliament is a program that gives young people the ability to stand up in Parliament and have their voices heard, as a ‘junior politician’. Each person selected, represents an electorate in Western Australia. We will work in committees to write legislation, which will then be debated in Parliament at a camp during the June/July school holidays. At the moment, training is going to be conducted through Zoom meetings with the camp being delayed during this current global situation. I’m waiting on confirmation of which electorate I’ve been allocated, but I expect to be the Member for Kimberley.
Through the program, I will get to meet some important political figures and represent the young people of Western Australia. It will teach me important skills and how to lobby for change in the community. In fact, in the past, the legislation written up in Youth Parliament has gone on to influence real law in WA, so we won’t be simply pretending. It’s an opportunity to have a say on how WA is run!
How were you selected for Youth Parliament 2020?
I was selected for Youth Parliament through an application process that involved answering questions such as, ‘What do you want to achieve through your participation in Youth Parliament 2020?’ So, I wrote from the heart. I wrote for the young people of the Kimberley where I live, who are struggling. For the kids at my local High School who won’t be able to do online learning during this crisis because they don’t have laptops at home, for the kids who would rather be in jail than in their own homes, and for the kids who need hope.
How were you chosen for this program?
To be selected for this program, you have to be between the ages of 15 and 25 and have a passion for the issues affecting young people.
What does being selected for Youth Parliament mean for you?
To be selected for Youth Parliament means that I can be a voice for the Kimberley kids who don’t have the luxuries we have here. I have been a boarder for four years and the two completely different lifestyles need mentioning. I can sit in private study with a waterfront view, while the kids I grew up with must share the eight computers in the centre of the senior school building at the high school in my town. This program means I can argue for the Kimberley and not let it continue to be neglected. Not only is obtaining a decent education a mental challenge when you are 3000km from your home, but the costs of flights can also exceed $1200 each way and frankly, the socio-economic problems are so deeply embedded in the town that education isn’t valued. This means a child with the same potential as any of the kids at Santa Maria gets left behind. I care because this is real life and the need for adequate services to allow the town to even remotely compete with Perth needs to be lobbied for.
What do you love most about politics?
I could write about this question all day, I even moved schools to study politics and law. I love politics, not only because Mrs Beazley is the best teacher ever, but because it gives you extensive knowledge about how the world works. Understanding any abuse of power and how the system works means you can change it. With knowledge comes influence and the ability to challenge and question. That feeling when you know all the politicians on the news and the implications of their new policies is amazing. One of my friends and I talk about it all the time, that feeling is like butterflies.
We can’t wait to see where Annalise goes from here, but we are sure of one thing, she’ll be a tremendous voice and advocate for the kids of the Kimberley.