Youth Parliament takeover in 38th year

1 July 2024

Months of preparation culminates in an unforgettable week for more than 100 aspiring young change makers at Parliament House.

The YMCA Youth Parliament is underway with 20 teams of Victorian youths aged 16-25 passionately pitching their policies for the future.

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‘You have all spent four months crafting Bills, learning how to report on Bills and creating a community that you will never leave behind,’ Youth Governor Kaitlin Woolford said.

‘This week is a pivotal moment in all your lives.’

Youth Governor Kaitlin Woolford

Monday’s Opening Ceremony ushered in the 38th instalment of the program which brings together school groups, and youth and community organisations from across the state.

In addition to Bills primarily relating to education, health, housing, public transport and environment there are proposals for bike borrowing hubs, legalising cannabis, equitable road tolls and mandatory desexing of pets.


‘You genuinely through the next three days of debate and discussion on the proposed Bills that are going to be put forward are going to have the capacity to leave a lasting legacy, statewide legacy, not just in each and every one of your respective communities,’ Pascoe Vale MP Anthony Cianflone said.

Throughout the week participants also speak on Matters of Public Importance and make Statements to the House.

Many of the sessions are watched by sitting MPs, who give their time to preside over debate and act as Speaker or Chair of their relevant chamber.

At the end of the week the Bills which pass are handed to the Youth Minister and relevant state MPs for further consideration.


More than 30 pieces of Victorian legislation have originated in the Youth Parliament, including roadside drug testing, over the counter contraception, mandatory bicycle helmets and removal of glass from high-risk entertainment venues.

‘Since 1987 the YMCA Victorian Youth Parliament program was always envisaged to be by young people, for young people and the broader community of Victoria,’ YMCA Victoria Chair Lindsay McMillan said.

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The first female president of the YMCA and founder of the Youth Parliament in Victoria, 87-year-old Marcia Pallette was recognised during the ceremony.

‘It is of high significance that we acknowledge Marcia Pallette, the former President of YMCA Victoria and the initiator of the Youth Parliament program here in Victoria,’ Dr McMillan said.


The Opening Ceremony included a stirring rendition of the national anthem sung by Claudia Cutajar and a Welcome to Country performed by Wurundjeri elder Perry Wandin.