Reception for Youth Members Attending the 2017 YMCA Queensland Youth Parliament
Kaye and I take great pleasure in hosting this annual reception for Members of the YMCA Queensland Youth Parliament. We enthusiastically welcome you all to Fernberg tonight, alongside our Youth Governor, Ms Catherine Cassells, other hardworking members of the Executive, and representatives of the State Council of YMCAs.
I at once acknowledge the Traditional Owners of the lands around Brisbane, the Turrbul and the Jagera peoples, and express my respect for their Elders, past and present, acknowledging that civilizations can be ancient, timeless, and endlessly enriching – meaning we learn, or should learn, from differing life experiences.
Like the Jacarandas which are just now showing some tentative purple blooms around Brisbane, signalling for many of you the countdown to your university examinations, the YMCA Queensland Youth Parliament is wonderfully entwined in the social heritage of our State.
Since its inception in 1996, this transformational program has been exceptional – unmatched actually for youth-run forums – in connecting young Queenslanders with government instrumentalities, and connecting enthusiastic, like-minded young people.
The benefits of the program for Queensland should not be understated.
There have been, over the past 21 years, thousands of Youth Members, all of whom have gained from the program some elevated understanding, among other things, of the bill-making process; how to advocate effectively on behalf of one’s community; and also – as I am reliably informed is still the case – how to perform the ‘banana dance’.
That final skill may be of constrained value outside of the program, but it is nonetheless emblematic of one of the many other benefits borne of YMCA Queensland Youth Parliament participation: beneficial personal development.
In this sense, I have always thought it highly fitting, Dr Goodall, that this uplifting initiative should be associated with the YMCA, whose own stated mission is to to provide opportunities for all people to grow in body, mind and spirit.
I applaud the State Council of YMCAs, the Department of Communities and the Queensland Parliamentary Service for their ongoing support of this program.
I congratulate all Youth Members, and the hardworking members of the Executive team, for their successes and achievements to date.
Kaye and I wish you all an invigorating Residential program, replete with robust and undoubtedly respectful debate in the Chamber. You are all exceptional young Queenslanders – enjoy this very special opportunity to the full!