The teenage years are nothing if not an arduous journey of self-exploration and social navigation. Despite resting on the brink of adulthood, the inevitable entrance into the “real world” feels a world away between math exams, schoolyard politics and a constant reminder that you are in fact, just a kid.

Even so, the YMCA Queensland Youth Parliament recognises the power behind the voices of our younger generation and their irrefutable importance to our country’s decision-making force. “Acknowledging the youth of our communities as part of today’s society not just tomorrow’s leaders is what Queensland Youth Parliament represents for me,” expresses Mahsa Nabizada.

In addition to being a year 10 student at Fairholme College, Nabizada has recently been appointed as Queensland Youth Parliament’s representative for Toowoomba South. Passionate about representing the interests of young people and their political engagement, Nabizada has taken up this role carrying great ambition and inspiration to make a difference.

“Youth Parliament is a great opportunity for young people like Mahsa to be a voice for their peers, learn about Queensland’s democratic process, share ideas and debate bills in parliament,” said Member for Toowoomba South David Janetzki. “Mahsa and her fellow youth leaders are bridging the gap between legislators and young people in Queensland.”

Whilst typical proceedings of Youth Parliament have been placed on hold for the time being, youth members are likely to return to Parliament House to debate their bills if COVID-19 restrictions are eased. In the meantime, the members will keep their closeknit contact online over the next few months to draft their bills.

“I hope to encourage other youth people to get involved and empower leadership, so I am very delighted to be given a platform to learn and share,” Nabizada says.  “The YMCA Queensland Youth Parliament is a life-time opportunity which I’m honored to take up.”

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