“Our Constitution was written a little more than a century ago and does not recognise the first chapter of our national story, of my family history, of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples who lived in this land for more than 40,000 years, and continue to live as the world’s oldest continuous cultures,”
Rachelle Maluga of Colony 47’s Aboriginal Community Links program was one of just six young people chosen from Tasmania to participate in the 2014 National Indigenous Youth Parliament (NIYP).
Ms Maluga is a member of the well-respected Maluga family with close links to the Maynard family group is a young Tasmanian who is passionate about changing the constitution and removing laws that discriminate against Aboriginal people
The first Indigenous youth parliament was held in 2012 to commemorate the 50th anniversary of Australia’s First Peoples gaining the right to vote in federal elections and it aims to help close the gap on Indigenous disadvantage in electoral participation.
Canberra calling young Indigenous leaders
Applications are open for the 2017 National Indigenous Youth Parliament (NIYP).
The NIYP is a week-long leadership program for Indigenous Australians aged 16 to 25, to be held in Canberra in May 2017. Applications are open until Friday 3 March 2017
Electoral Commissioner, Tom Rogers, said this is a golden opportunity to learn about government and leadership directly from the people making decisions that affect Indigenous communities.
“The AEC will bring to Canberra 50 young Indigenous Australians, six from each state and territory and two from the Torres Strait Islands,” Mr Rogers said.
“Participants will receive training in public speaking and in dealing with the media. The young parliamentarians will learn from the nation’s leaders, members of the parliamentary press gallery, Indigenous leaders and senior public servants.”
NIYP will run from 23 to 29 May 2017. The centrepiece of the NIYP is a two-day simulated parliament in the House of Representatives chamber at Old Parliament House. Participants will debate bills and issues important to themselves and their communities.
“The NIYP brings together Indigenous leaders of the future who are prepared to step up, debate important issues and look for solutions to Indigenous disadvantage,” Mr Rogers said.
“Youth parliamentarians will meet decision makers, build networks and develop their leadership skills.”
No specific skills or experience are required to participate in the NIYP, apart from a desire to have a say in what’s going on in your community.
“I urge young Indigenous Australians to grab this opportunity and apply today.”
Applications are open until Friday 3 March 2017.
Participants will be chosen based on their ideas, community activity and leadership potential.
To apply visit www.aec.gov.au/indigenous.