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By Nisha Labade
29 March 2023

Every year, our Young Ambassadors aged 15-25, talk to young people across Australia on the issues that matter most to them. They then take these stories to the halls of Parliament, amplifying young voices and calling for action.

Here’s how it went for the class of 2022.

So why are you lobbying in Parliament house this week?

Harrison: We are here today to advocate on behalf of young people across Australia. We have workshopped a report full of new solutions to issues that children and young people care about.

Daniel: Mental health and education particularly were vocalised by young people. But the report was diverse, discussing issues of inclusion, climate change and youth participation as well.

Chris: The results from our survey showed that young people are really engaged, they just need pathways to their decision makers and the ability to participate in the national conversation.

Read the survey
Young Ambassadors in Parliament House

UNICEF Australia's Young Ambassador's in Parliament

Join UNICEF Australia's Young Ambassador's, Manon and Jahin as they lobby Australia's decision-makers at Parliament House.

What were some of the highlights of the trip?

Amber: We were all so excited to meet with ministers, especially powerful women, such as Anne Aly (Minister for Youth), and Penny Wong (Minister for Foreign Affairs). As a young person you can feel disillusioned with decision makers and politicians. But they’ve all been friendly, genuine and engaged in productive discussions around youth issues.

Emily: My absolute favourite moment was meeting Senator Jordon Steele-John (Greens senator and disability advocate). It’s so nice to see young people with intersectional identities represented in politics, I have never really seen that before. It really gives me hope for more young people to get into spaces like this.

Do you feel that change has been made?

Amber: I really came away from discussions with ministers feeling there was room for further discussion and collaboration with young people in the future.

Emily: One of the greatest outcomes of this week was seeing the youth steering committee sitting in Parliament. This is a government initiative that has been a response to young people, like UNICEF Young Ambassadors, calling for more youth representation in Parliament. It’s so exciting for the future of young people. I know that for me being part of the Young Ambassador program has given me actionable skills that I can take with me in the future.

Harrison: Yeah, I agree. I am hopeful that we are really impacting tangible change for youth voices in Parliament and in the end, improve civic engagement for young Australians. I really can’t wait to see what comes out of our conversations.

A group of young people wave at the camera© UNICEF Australia/2022/Moran

Want to learn more about our Young Ambassadors?

The UNICEF Australia Young Ambassador program gives young people aged 15-24 the opportunity to speak up for children’s rights and what matters to Australia’s young people. Recruited from across the country, participants will be trained in leadership, advocacy, media and communications, and meaningfully engaging with other children and young people.