Samuel Doering, from Neales Flat, was recently involved in the Youth Parliament where he spent a week debating bills and learning about public speaking and leadership in Parliament House, Adelaide.
Youth Parliament is a YMCA initiative that allows youth to learn about parliamentary debate, the parliamentary process, bill writing, public speaking and debating.
Throughout the week at Parliament House in Adelaide, more than 90 participants were actively engaged in debating and public speaking both in the House of Assembly and the Legislative Council. Each team had one bill which they sponsored, or proposed and also had a bill which they were to refute.
Mr Doering had the position of Leader of the Opposition in the Legislative Council, which entailed encouraging all youth parliamentarians, getting everyone to speak, sharing ideas, allowing the bills to pass through and speaking when no one else felt comfortable. Sam said that “It truly was an honour to be able to lead the Opposition in the Legislative Council, as it allowed me to learn more about how to be a leader, and learn more about debating and public speaking.”
Samuel’s team proposed that South Australia establish a Nuclear Power Plant to provide the states base-load energy. In addition to this, his team proposed that a Nuclear Waste Storage Facility be established to store nuclear waste that is currently stored in more than 100 locations all over the country, some close to schools. Their bill passed through the House of Assembly, however it did not pass through the Legislative Council.
Sam said that his favourite moment was “during a debate on Thursday whereby the entire Opposition attempted to overthrow the Government. It gave us the opportunity to get involved in a heated debate and bag the Government! Unfortunately, we were not successful, but it was great fun!”
Sam also pointed out that during a debate on Thursday, Russell Wortley, President of the Legislative Council presided over the chamber. “I felt a bit nervous, because I wanted to make sure I was getting it right,” said Samuel. Michael Atkinson, Speaker of the House of Assembly, presided over one debate in the House of Assembly.
Throughout the week, Samuel had the privilege to meet several politicians including Steven Marshall, Dan van Holst Pellekaan, Tony Piccolo and Frances Bedford as well as Mark Parnell. Together they discussed current politics, the Youth Parliament initiative and much more.
“I am so thankful that I went to Youth Parliament. It was quite humbling to be allowed to use Parliament House, which only heightened the experience. In addition to this, I made so many new friends and the experiences that I had were irreplaceable. I would absolutely recommend the programme to everyone aged between 15 and 24!”, Sam said.
Photos and Story thanks to Samuel Doering.