On Friday, July 14th, I formally concluded my journey as the Y NSW youth parliament member for Campbelltown. It has been an honour and privilege to represent my community alongside my esteemed colleague, Zac Britton.

Throughout the program, it was evident that we were still a group of developing young adults, with prejudice occasionally popping up. However I found the experience of engaging with individuals from various political affiliations and backgrounds to be truly incredible.

As my friend Jack said in his PMS “Life is full of trivialities and sideshows and ideas that end as quickly as they begin, but we can’t let these take away from the person. ”  Where he spoke about making an effort to talk to people with different opinions with respect and an open mind which is an essential skill not only in parliament but in everyday life.

In the midst of the regrettable displays of bigotry and unparliamentary behaviour, collective experiences and concerns sparked meaningful conversations, encompassing the entire youth cohort. Although it felt like our voices were being shunned after the initial concerns were brought up, the solidarity and power shared among the non-men in light of unfair treatment make me so proud. With stars on our hands and ribbons on our blazers,  we united to enact change, ensuring no voice was silenced but amplified instead.

The education committee, which I was a part of, did expectantly well. Our bill passed with amendments, although some of our amendments were debatable I am so proud of everyone on my committee.

Even with our rocky introduction at training camp , we worked on a bill that even with its interesting amendments told the NSW  government that modern students need modern education.

To our incredible Education minister Madeline and shadow minister Amadene,  for their unwavering leadership and inspiration. Additionally id like to recognise and thank the rest of the committee – Charles, Dana, Daniel, Dylan, Demetri and Sophia thank you for being not only the best team, but genuine friends.

Finally, I would like to acknowledge the strength, passion, and perseverance demonstrated by every young woman and gender-diverse youth parliamentarian. Your collective dedication ,determination and advocacy truly inspire me.

I want to give a special shout-out to some of the most incredible individuals I had the pleasure to meet during our time in the youth parliament:

Akon, Annabelle, Ara, Daisy, Dana, Elsie, Ester, Gabby, Indy, Ireland, Jannet, Jewel, Karin, Kimmy, Madison, Rachel, Sophia U, Sophie F and Stephie.

Each one of you has left an indelible mark, and I am confident that your contributions will continue to make a positive impact as you pursue your passions and advocate for meaningful change. Keep shining bright and empowering others with your exceptional talents and dedication.

There are so many more but just now I appreciate and commend each and every one of you and I want to extend a special acknowledgement to the boys who stood up and actively worked towards ending misogyny and sexism. It is crucial to recognize that dismantling the patriarchal norms ingrained in our society will require time and concerted efforts. In this journey, I urge everyone to remember three fundamental words: Acknowledge your mistakes, Apologise for them, and most importantly, hold yourself and others accountable. By practising these principles, we can foster a more inclusive, equitable, and respectful world for everyone. Together, let’s continue to create positive change and pave the way for a more just and equal future.

– Veronika Miller

A List Ambassador

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