FREELING’S Tahlia Lukeman is encouraging young locals to get involved in the upcoming Youth Parliament program, after she benefited greatly from the experience.
The program, developed by YMCA, is about giving young people a taste of what political life is all about, and explaining how government decisions are made, whilst participating in a simulated experience at South Australian parliament.
The 17-year-old former Kapunda High School student said she learned a lot during the program, over the past two years, and believes it is a really worthwhile experience.
“I participated as part of the Barossa team; I spent the first year learning how to write the actual bills, the correct etiquette and how not to offend people, which is all transferable into real life,” Tahlia said.
“In the second year I spent a lot more time writing for other people and helping out the first years.
“I did year 12 and year 11 legal studies and I am doing politics at uni, so I have been able to talk to the younger people coming into it and help them out.”
Tahlia said one of the program’s challenges was learning to overcome differing opinions, and also work together.
“Not everyone in the team had the same ideas, so it was quite difficult,” she said.
“Some of the people from the Barossa team were from areas like Loxton, Gawler, Freeling, so we had people whose lives were all really different, and different issues were more important.”
To get the most out of the experience, Tahlia said she would encourage all individuals to enter the program with an open mind, and be willing to listen to their peers.
“The thing about Youth Parliament is you have to try and argue things you don’t believe in,” she said.
“It was difficult to start with, but the rule is anything that is said in parliament stays in parliament, and it is not a true representation of yourself.”
Applications for the 2017 Youth Parliament program are open until March 19 and can be made online at sa.ymca.org.au/our-services/youth-parliament/