Reception for Youth Members Attending the 2019 YMCA Queensland Youth Parliament
Youth Governor, Your Excellency Ms Alexandria Brown; Programme Coordinator, Mr Lachlan Sands; members of the Executive; Youth Members. A very warm welcome to Fernberg to you all.
I at once acknowledge the traditional owners of the lands around Brisbane, and extend respectful greetings to Elders and emerging leaders.
Kaye and I greatly enjoy hosting these annual receptions for the YMCA Queensland Youth Parliament. Gavel, official Vice-Regal Dog, enjoys greeting you too!
Kaye and I always end the night brimming with optimism, having met so many wonderful, enthusiastic young Queenslanders.
We are always also eager to hear how first-year Youth Members are coping with the ‘banana dance’! Fortunately for you all, I won’t be leading a rendition tonight!
There are two aspects which I have long admired about the YMCA Queensland Youth Parliament.
The first: it is run by young people, for young people. How wonderful that the organising Executive is formed from past participants.
The second impressive aspect is the programme’s State-wide reach.
I was delighted to see this year that Youth Members had been appointed for all 93 seats of the Queensland Parliament – from Cook in our far north, to Southern Downs on the New South Wales border and out to Traeger, where Kaye and I recently spent a week hosting Regional Government House from Mount Isa.
We are honoured so many young people from the regions are here tonight.
To all Youth Members, congratulations on your achievements to date.
I am truly impressed by the breadth of the contemporary issues you will debate in the Legislative Assembly this week – from pill testing to artificial intelligence, sentencing reform to animal rights.
Never forget what a great honour it is to sit in the Green Chamber – although the Youth Governor and I are, of course, by convention forbidden from entering it, except on request and by permission of the Speaker.
While the debate in the Assembly will at times be spirited, I know you will do your best to keep it respectful. That is, after all, what parliamentary democracy demands of you.
Finally, I thank the YMCA of Brisbane, the Queensland Government and the Parliamentary Service for their ongoing support of this uplifting programme.
I wish you all a wonderful week, as you forge new friendships and create unforgettable experiences as part of our State’s premier youth civics programme. Thank you.