This Year’s Youth Parliament Bundaberg Representative is Aradhana Samuel
St Luke’s Aradhana Samuel represented Bundaberg in this year’s Queensland Youth Parliament, a YMCA initiative. Every year ninety-three students are selected from hundreds of applicants to represent their region in the Parliament.
Ardhana Samuel and her team created a bill focusing on issues relating to Multicultural and Indigenous Affairs, one of eight portfolios that representatives can write bills for. Over the week-long sitting, bills such as Ardhana’s were debated, refined, and presented.
“Our bill aimed to eliminate the miscommunication between the law and young indigenous and multicultural offenders who may have been falsely accused of a crime they didn't commit or simply didn't understand,” Ardhana said.
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“I joined the youth parliament to gain a better understanding of politics, however I have since realized that this is a chance for my voice to be heard, and I can raise issues that are neglected,” Aradhana said. “Miscommunication between the law and indigenous and multicultural youth is an example of an issue that is often neglected.”
Aradhana has always been interested in politics and the law, and sitting as a Bundaberg representative in this year’s Queensland Youth Parliament offered her the chance to see if she enjoyed the experience and imagine becoming a political leader in the future.
Aradhana believes that it’s important for students to utilise events such as the Youth Parliament as it gives them an opportunity to meet state politicians and learn from advice that are offered to them. “As a student, there are times when I feel like I am not understood or taken seriously because of my age. Being a youth member places me in a situation where everyone around me is listening,” she said.
“I can confidently say that I have benefited from this experience and that I am a stronger more independent individual because of it.”