During the second week of the school holiday break, Lachlan Miranda (Year 11) attended the 2023 YMCA NSW Youth Parliament training camp. During this time, he was elected as the Youth Minister for Mental Health. This is an outstanding achievement.
Lachlan was introduced to the Mental Health Committee and participated in a series of worthwhile group activities. Lachlan is a passionate advocate for mental health, especially the mental health of young people. As the student-representative for Coogee, Lachlan has immersed himself in politics and law, working with a committed team of student-advocates aiming to improve the Mental Health Act. Below is a piece Lachlan wrote on his experience:
“The Youth Parliament training camp was a brief, yet highly insightful experience. Surrounded by like-minded individuals who came from around the state, as far as Tweed Heads and as far South as the Snowy mountains. Opening with lectures on the structure of our state government, how policy is created and how young people are able to get involved with advocacy in their local areas. Then, the cohort of 100, split into their respective committees.
In the Mental Health Committee we discussed where our state and local areas are lacking with regard to mental health. After addressing this issue, we as a committee decided that mental health needs addressing in four key areas of our society: the workplace, our education system, the mental health committee that advises the government, as well as providing more support and knowledge for new and expecting parents.
On the third and final day of the training camp an election was held across all of the Youth Parliament students for various government positions. I was lucky enough to be elected the Youth Minister for Mental Health for 2023, not only representing my committee, but young people across NSW.
With the goals outlined previously, the Mental Health Committee and I will draft a bill amending four acts that are already in place across the state. This bill will be presented at the end of Term 2 to various NSW ministers. Ultimately aiming to benefit the mental health of many people throughout the state.”
Lachlan will meet weekly with his committee to develop a cogent Youth Mental Health Bill. We look forward to witnessing Lachlan in action in July where he will debate in NSW Parliament House, connect with elected members, and have a meeting with the Governor of NSW.
Next term, Lachlan will share his learnings and experiences of being a Youth Parliamentarian.