Vanessa, Haeden step into politicians’ shoes

Holly ThompsonSound Telegraph
Vanessa Bourne with Baldivis MLA Reece Whitby.
Camera IconVanessa Bourne with Baldivis MLA Reece Whitby.

Two young people will take part in the 2021 YMCA Youth Parliament Program, representing local electorates.

Vanessa Bourne will represent the seat of Baldivis, while Haeden Miles will represent Kwinana.

Both have met with their respective local politicians to learn more about the electorates they will represent.

The Youth Parliament program involves people aged 15-25, who receive the opportunity to write a bill based on a particular committee.

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They are then placed in either government or opposition roles and get to debate and pass Bills in Parliament House in July.

Ms Bourne will be in the government this year, after first getting involved with Youth Parliament in 2020.

“I am a part of the health and mental health committee this year,” she said.

“Our Bill focuses on having multi-disciplinary teams of mental health practitioners travelling between public schools to offer counselling services.

“The main aim is to intervene as early as possible before mental health issues become much worse, especially during high school, where there are numerous situations that can impact on them mentally.

“I am very excited to debate in Parliament House this time since last year’s restrictions meant we had to do the program at the Constitutional Centre Perth.”

Mr Miles, who will also be in government, said he first got involved with Youth Parliament in 2018 as a Year 11 student.

“I was still unsure as to who I was and what I wanted to do in Year 11, but my introduction to the Youth Parliament program allowed me to discover my voice and passions,” he said.

“I’m on the multicultural and Indigenous affairs committee. The Bill our committee created is called the First Nations Peoples Cultural Awareness School.

This draft legislation focuses on implementing educational programs within schools to teach students about the traditional owners of the land and their culture.”

Mr Miles has also been elected as the Youth Deputy Premier.

“I cannot wait to partake in my third and final year of Youth Parliament — it has been such an important experience in my life,” he said.

Haeden Miles with Kwinana MLA Roger Cook.
Camera IconHaeden Miles with Kwinana MLA Roger Cook.

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