Join DCA’s 2018 Team for YMCA Victoria Youth Parliament

Do you want to join DCA’s team for YMCA Victoria’s Youth Parliament? For the past 31 years, this program has given young Victorians between the ages of 16 – 25 a chance to be heard at the highest levels of State Government, on a wide range of issues that matter to young people.

Last year, there was a deaf team for the first time and it was an amazing experience for all involved!

Again, a total of twenty teams with six participants each will receive training in public speaking and leadership skills at the Lake Dewar Lodge YMCA camp, as they research issues that they feel strongly about. From this research, the teams will work together to make a Bill, and debate this in Victorian Parliament. The training weekend will be held from 25 – 27 May and the week long residential camp, including 3 days of debate in Parliament House, will be from 1 – 6 July.

The Bills provide the Victorian Government with a greater understanding of what issues are important to young people. The Bill you help create could change Victorian law.

More than 25 pieces of State Legislation have come from the Youth Parliament, including:

Roadside Drug Testing for Drivers
Over the Counter Availability of the Morning After Pill
Mandatory Wearing of a Bicycle Helmet
Removal of Glass from Identified High-Risk Entertainment Venues
Gun Reformation Laws

View the Auslan video or the text version of DCA Youth Worker Tahlia Barry’s message for more details. Contact Tahlia by this Friday if you would like to join the team.

Hello! My name is Tahlia Barry and I am a Youth Worker at Deaf Children Australia.

What am I here for? Maybe you have seen posts over Facebook, Social Media or perhaps in the newspaper about Youth Parliament, it is organised by YMCA Victoria.

DCA had a deaf group that participated last year called Deafhood. You may have heard of it or not.

In the group, six deaf participants attended Parliament House in Melbourne City. In the whole YMCA Youth Parliament, there are around 20 groups of participants aged 16-25. They were given an opportunity to voice their opinions on any issues that are currently happening around us. For example, abolishing the use of plastic bags. A group of youth in South Australia were able to propose a bill at the Youth Parliament and voice their opinion about it, they were able to have YES votes and have the bill approved and verified. This then resulted in no plastic bags available at any supermarkets in South Australia.

Another example from last year was the Deafhood group. Their bill proposal was about ensuring Public Transport around Victoria is deaf friendly. Such as if a train is on strike or stops working, often there will be a sign that says “Please listen to the Loud speaker”. The aim of the bill was to abolish that and make things around Public Transport more deaf friendly and visual. It also included visual captioning on buses and trams with what the next stops were.

YES! The Deafhood team stood up and presented their bill and opinion in Auslan with the Interpreter voicing over. The Bill passed and was approved in Parliament House. The Deafhood team had won! So over the past 12 months, the Deafhood team were involved in the changes made to Public Transport Victoria – including building a good relationship with the Public Transport Commissioner.

So, do you want to be involved? We already have a team of 3 people – Cate Dunn and Sara Weir who were last year’s participants – also Oliad Omar. We are looking for three d/Deaf or hard of hearing (HOH) people who are aged between 16-25 years old. Deaf Children Australia has received funding to provide for interpreters and live captioning through the Youth Parliament week and training camp.

What is the commitment involved? 2 nights/ 3 days training camp at the end of May and Youth Parliament week in the first week of July – also a few meetings.

Also exciting news, we have a deaf person on the Taskforce Team which is the Organising Committee team. YMCA and Youth Parliament had received Deaf Awareness Training last year which means everything is deaf friendly!!!

If you are interested, please email your Expression of Interest (EOI) to

Deadline is this Friday 13 April at 5pm.

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