A young Parkes resident was selected for a very special parliament sitting in Canberra last week.
Brenton Hawken participated in the 2017 National Indigenous Youth Parliament (NIYP) with 50 other young Indigenous Aus- tralians at Old Parliament House.
Brenton, who is currently studying a Bach- elor of Education at Charles Sturt University in Wagga Wagga, was selected from a field of 306 applicants across Australia for a week-long intensive leadership program.
The program involved meeting with Parliamentarians, business, community and Indigenous leaders and learning about the parliamentary process. They participated in a two-day simulated Parliament debating bills on issues identified by the participants. These included education, employment, improving access to mental health, human rights and drug and alcohol rehabilitation services.
For Brenton, who would like to become a school principal to inspire the next generation of youth to pursue their goals and dreams, it was a once in a lifetime opportunity.
He also met the Member for Riverina and Minister for Small Business, Michael McCormack. The Minister said he was delighted to meet Brenton and sponsor part of his participation in the NIYP.
“Brenton, his family and peers should be proud of his selection, because his participation highlights his achievement as a proactive individual and positive role model who strives to make a personal contribution to his community.”
“I commend Brenton for taking such an active interest in speaking up for and on behalf of his community and for both indigenous and non-indigenous youth alike.
“I have no doubt we’ll see more of Bren- ton in the future as an up and coming leader and I encourage him to follow his dreams and wish him every success as he sets out to do so.”
The NIYP is delivered by the Australian Electoral Commission in collaboration with the YMCA and the Museum of Australian Democracy.