Politicians will hear the words of Geelong youths in a new initiative to give young people a voice in federal parliament.
Corio and Corangamite MPs Richard Marles and Libby Coker were among 40 federal MPs who signed up to the inaugural Raise Our Voice in Parliament initiative.
They encouraged Geelong locals under 21 to submit a 200-word speech for them to read in parliament in October through the initiative.
“We know that young people have been deeply effected by the COVID-19 pandemic as their education, lives and social connections have been disrupted,” Mr Marles said on Wednesday.
“Yet this pandemic has given us an opportunity to re-imagine a better Australia.
“The Raise Our Voice project puts young people at the centre of our national parliament and is a perfect way to hear the important ways forward for our country and our future.
“I look forward to reading a speech from a local young person who sees a vision for Australia through the lens of their Geelong community.”
Ms Coker stressed the importance of young people having a voice in decision-making.
“It’s time we gave young people a seat at the decision-making table, and allow them to participate in shaping policies that will affect their futures,” she said.
“I know young people in my region care deeply about climate change, mental health and the lack of opportunities for them to secure, permanent, rewarding work.
“We must not only listen to their concerns, but allow them to be part of the decision-making process.”