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Senator’s statement, Youth Voice in Parliament Week, 18 October 2021

Senator HENDERSON (Victoria) (13:55): [by video link] As part of the Raise Our Voice campaign, I have the great honour of reading two speeches prepared by two outstanding young Victorians. The first is from Annabel Bryan:

Hello my name is Annabel Bryan and I am 10 years of age I live in Northern Victoria. I believe that social media has a major impact on primary school students as much as high school students. The bullying via social media can attack children’s mental
health as much as it does face to face. That’s why I believe schools should have more education about these sorts of topics. There should also be more consequences for those whom have a part in these bullying situations. For instance if a child’s bullying behaviour is detected, teachers and parents should take action. These situations should be openly talked about in the class room. Over all I believe the government should make legislation for all schools across Australia to add awareness about social media bullying and the impact on mental health to their weekly curriculum. Well done to Annabel.

From Cate McNeil:

My name is Cate McNeil, I am 13 years old, and I live in the Corio electorate. I have been interested in politics from a young age, and I am passionate about trying to make the lives of people better. Here is my proposal for a better Australia in 20 years: We need to educate Australian youth about how to be financially literate for when they grow up and leave home. Right now, kids my age and older still don’t know that much about finance. There is so much to learn with superannuation, compounding interest, good debt, bad debt and more. This can be daunting and therefore they just don’t learn it. This is a big problem because it means that youth grow up to not know about banking and how to make educated money decisions, and this can result in poverty. I commend both Annabel and Cate for their inspiring words, and perhaps one day we will see them advocating for what they believe in in the national parliament.

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