I recently led a group of year 6 students from 13 different schools from within my electorate as they participated in our inaugural Goldstein Youth Forum, organised by my office. The students debated eight issues that they had nominated as important to them and their peers and voted for their top issue based on their level of concern and the strength of the argument put forward by the teams on the day.
Management of waste and recycling came in first, followed by cost of living and then inclusiveness at school and in society. This year’s forum was incredibly worthwhile and thought-provoking. While these students are too young to vote, as their representative to parliament it’s critically important to me to be their voice and to understand and advocate for their concerns and ideas.
These students were amazing representatives of our communities. Huge thanks go to the Victorian Electoral Commission, who assisted with their Passport to Democracy packs, and to Beaumaris Secondary College, where the forum was held. Our next forum is on 21 August, and this one will be held in the Legislative Assembly chamber of the Victorian parliament for year 10 students from secondary schools across Goldstein. I look forward to hearing from these young and engaged members of our community.