Young Victorians Gearing up to Make Change
For 37 years, young Victorians have had a chance to directly impact and make a change in how the State of Victoria is governed and the laws that are implemented. The Victorian Youth Parliament, a program annually run by the YMCA, gives 120 young Victorians aged 16 - 25 the chance to become civically engaged and create their own Bills that are to be debated in Parliament House. The program teaches young Victorians about parliamentary procedures and the legislative process of how laws are made, and gives them an insight into what debating in Parliament House feels like. State MPs also frequent Parliament House during the week, watching and chairing the debates for the participants. The Bills, if passed by the Victorian Youth Parliament, are handed to the Youth Governor of Victoria to pass onto the Minister for Youth, and are recorded
in the Hansard.
Over the years, the program has made a significant dent in what laws have been implemented throughout the State of Victoria, highlighting how powerful young people are when they are given the space to advocate for what they are passionate about. Notable laws which have come from this program are Abortion Reform, The Right to Die (Euthanasia), the Introduction of Victim Impact Statements, the Prohibition of Knowingly Spreading AIDS, the Creation of a State-Wide Child Sex Offender Register, Mandatory Bike Helmets, and Safe Injection Rooms, amongst many others.
The 2023 program is well underway, with the sitting days being the 26th, 27th and 29th of June this year. The debates are open to the public and anyone can come along to Parliament House and watch these amazing and passionate youths debate for law reform.
For more information, go to:
To follow along with this year’s debates, go to:
2023 G7 Summit Unveils More Sanctions on Russia
Russia invaded Ukraine on the 24th of February 2022. Since then, over 5.3 million people have been internally displaced across Ukraine, which has been the fastest displacement of people in Europe since World War II.
Since the invasion, many nations have shown support for Ukraine by issuing sanctions against Russia. The 2023 G7 meeting in Hiroshima, Japan, has seen world leaders such as Anthony Albanese, Justin Trudeau, Joe Biden and Riski Suank, amongst others, discuss further sanctions on Russia. It is important to note that a clear focus of this year's G7 meeting is also on the rising tensions between China and Taiwan, and how to prevent any possible warfare.
The decision to host the 2023 G7 meeting in Hiroshima, as decided by Fumio Kishida can also be seen as a reminder to the G7 leaders of the impact and cost of nuclear warfare, presenting a strong front against Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
What are sanctions?
Sanctions are a type of penalty that is issued by one country, such as the USA or Australia, against another country, to try to stop them from breaking international law.
What are the current sanctions?
Some current sanctions against Russia made by world leaders include:
The European Union (EU) has frozen the assets of Russia’s Central Bank in their countries.
The US and UK banned all Russian gas imports.
Germany has stopped the opening of the Nordstream gas pipeline from Russia.
Australia’s Russian Sanctions Regime
If you want to learn more:
Australia’s Russian Sanctions Regime: