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Rachel Is Our Youth Member For 2022

Story: Alyssa Mackay | Photo: Bruce Redman
Published On : Apr 23, 2022
Rachel Is Our Youth Member for 2022
Year 11 student Rachel Kennedy has been announced as this year’s YMCA Queensland Youth Parliament Member for Sandgate, a program which provides young people with the opportunity to serve as youth members in their electorates.

As part of the six-month program, Rachel will write a bill proposing a law reform and debate the bill at Parliament House in Brisbane.

Rachel, 16, said she was excited to have been given the opportunity to represent her community and give a voice to young people.

“I am hoping to make a positive impact on the community, and I am looking forward to bill writing on issues around affordable housing,” Rachel said. “I’m also looking forward to debates on issues that I’m passionate about, such as climate change, as well as engaging with the community.”

During her term, Rachel will be working in the portfolio for the Prevention of Domestic and Family Violence, Housing, Infrastructure and Transport.

Rachel said she had met with Stirling Hinchcliffe MP and the other youth members and attended the program’s official launch at Parliament House.

“Coming up, we have plans for community engagement events and we will begin the bill writing process,” she said. “This will culminate in Residential Sitting Week where our bill will be debated, and if passed, will be handed over to Queensland’s politicians for consideration.”

Rachel, who has spent much of her childhood in the Sandgate community and whose family are long-time locals, is an advocate for the environment and sustainability.

“As the climate crisis worsens, it becomes more and more vital that governments and communities work together locally and globally to ensure a safe climate and a future for everyone,” she said. “This essential need to act on the climate crisis has never been more important and I hope to use my platform to drive real action. Young people have the most to lose in the climate crisis, and if we don’t act now our future is in real danger.

“The feeling of helplessness around the lack of real and meaningful change led me to get involved in politics, and this program is a great stepping stone for me.”