17 July 2017
Youth parliament experience
Picture: Jocelyn Nickels
As published in The Border Watch.
Written by Jocelyn Nickels.

St Martins students selected to address range of issues through state program

Congolese refugee Chanceline Kakule will discuss some of Australia’s biggest challenges next month as she takes part in YMCA SA Youth Parliament.

Moving to Australia in 2010, Ms Kakule is passionate about the rights of refugees and helping them, like her, secure a better future.

Born in Congo and raised in Zambia, the bright Year 11 student said her involvement with the program is an important step in returning to her home country to make a change.

“Africa is a huge continent and it is a huge step to move from one country to another – you are classed as a refugee even when doing this,” she said.

“As a refugee myself, I don’t think they are a problem and one day I want to return home to help make a difference to their lives.”

Joining together with two fellow students at St Martins Lutheran College, Matilda Thompson and Hsa Yu Moo Ler, the team will discuss a range of issues they believe need to be addressed in parliament.

For the young Limestone Coast residents, this includes domestic violence and gun laws. “We are all very passionate about helping those going through domestic violence as it is something that happens a lot in the community,” Ms Kakule said.

“Our main aim will help find suitable accommodation for victims after they escape from the dangerous situation.”

Recently travelling with the team to Adelaide for a training weekend at the University of South Australia with 100 students from across the state, Ms Kakule said she was looking forward to the experience.

“I am feeling a little nervous, but am really excited to meet new people who are interested in the same things as myself,” she said.

“I hope to study law once I finish school so it will be a great opportunity to learn about how to write and debate bills – I think it will really help me grow as a person.”

The students will set off to Adelaide at the beginning of next month and spend a week learning about public speaking, parliamentary etiquette, bill development and youth advocacy.

However, the program is not funded by the school and the team is currently raising funds to participate in the initiative.

Visit St Martins Lutheran College to make a donation for the trip.

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