Moree Secondary College student Codie Gainey has a new appreciation for politics after visiting Youth Parliament in Sydney.
The Year 9 student was chosen by principal Paula Barton to fly over on Monday and present a speech in the chamber.
Codie’s speech focused on young women in rural areas interested in football lacking equal opportunities to showcase their talent.
“I emphasised how it would be good for us women to have more opportunities to represent our area in football. Women don’t get the same chances to showcase as boys do,” she said.
After practising her speech, a worker listening approached Codie and thanked her for raising an important topic she resonated with.
“She said she was glad someone was here to speak about that because when she was younger she wanted to play football but she didn’t get enough opportunities.”
Originally the speech was 2.5 minutes long however each speaker had to refine their prepared speech to just one minute.
“It was a little difficult to cut it back but still get the point across. Luckily I had help from my English teacher which made things easier for me,” she said.
After speaking to members of Parliament, both from the upper and lower house, Codie was able to voice her opinion of a number of issues involving youth.
She said the common agreement among attendees was that students needed to be taken more serious by adults.
“We are told we’re young and we don’t know what’s going on but we do and it’s our future we are trying to shape,” she said.
Codie said it was fascinating to hear how different people’s opinions were on each matter. She also enjoyed the tour around state Parliament, learning the different roles.
The local girl now has an opportunity to return to Youth Parliament with a new group of people next year.
“I would encourage everyone to take any opportunity to speak up for what you believe in, especially youth.”
Mrs Barton said she was extremely proud of Codie for representing Moree Secondary College with pride during her trip to Parliament on Monday.