Elevating Young People’s Voices

Nearly 80 of Australia’s Federal Politicians Committed to Elevating Young People’s Voices

The voices, views, and opinions of Australia’s young people will be heard in Federal Parliament this November as part of the Raise Our Voice in Parliament campaign.

79 Federal MPs and Senators from across the political divide will read out 90-second speeches written by youth around Australia from the floor of Parliament.

Young people aged under 21 are invited to submit a speech on the topic “What should Australia’s new parliament accomplish?” for the chance to have their answer chosen as part of the Youth Voice in Parliament week.

MPs from every state and territory will take part, including MPs from the Liberal Party, Australian Labor Party, Australian Greens, The Nationals, and independents. Participating MPs will give up one of their speaking slots in November to deliver the chosen speeches.

The campaign is an initiative of Raise Our Voice Australia, a social enterprise providing training, mentoring and opportunities in politics and policy for young, diverse female and non-binary Australians.

“We know that young people are passionate about making change, but don’t feel represented in our politics. This campaign endeavours to increase the political literacy of young people, and connect them with resources to help develop their knowledge, understanding and confidence in Australian politics.”

Raise Our Voice Australia has partnered with UNICEF Australia and the Australian Youth Affairs Coalition to deliver the campaign, which is being led by Raise Our Voice Australia’s founder Ashleigh Streeter-Jones. Ms Streeter-Jones has been recognised by Forbes and the Australian Financial Review for her work in getting more young women into politics.

The Raise Our Voice in Parliament campaign is open to anyone living in Australia aged 21 or under. Speech submissions are open until 19 October.

Raise Our Voice Australia will be working with participating MPs and Senators to review applications, with MPs and Senators to have the final say on their speech. For a full list of participating MPs, further information, or to submit a speech, visit www.raiseourvoiceaustralia.com/youthvoice.

Successful speeches will be presented to the Australian Parliament and public during Youth Voice in Parliament week, which runs from 21-24 November.

The 2021 speech saw over 600 speech submissions, with 125 speeches read by 69 politicians. 92% of post-campaign survey respondents said that participating in the campaign made them more likely to participate in politics in the future, with climate the issue most written about.

“Raise Our Voice Australia is a social enterprise working to support the next generation of diverse public service leaders, politicians and public policy makers,” Ms Streeter-Jones said.

“We know our country’s young people are already leaders, particularly in the community and in non-government organisations. We’ve made it our mission to support Australia’s young people, especially young women and those from marginalised backgrounds, and provide them with skills, opportunities, and an understanding of how Australia’s public policies are made so they can create meaningful change for the future they want.”