Youth Voice in Parliament Week

Ms WELLS (Lilley) (16:31): To celebrate Youth Voice in Parliament Week this week I am honoured to give voice to 16-year-old Maddie Sheehan from Earnshaw State College in Banyo in my electorate of Lilley. This is Maddie's vision for Australia in 20 years.

'Growing up, my grandparents loved to tell me stories of their childhood, never missing an opportunity to throw around classic phrases like "kids these days" or "back in my day". And though I don't pretend to know the struggles of the generations that came before me, and I have the utmost sympathy for anyone forced to live in a time before television, it made me realise the world was not always this heavy.

My generation is staring down the barrel of an uncertain future, and, instead of being excited and hopeful for what is may hold, I would be lying if I said that I was not scared. I am scared to watch as the fires that burned all summer long climb higher and edge closer to home. I am scared because we are in a slow-motion car crash, and the brakes are perfectly functional, but we all seem to be asleep at the wheel. I am scared to watch as we rewrite the definition of humanity but refuse to acknowledge that we are all human. But, most of all, I am scared that I am right. Please prove me wrong. I am 16 years old, I don't have all the answers, but you have all the power to make change. What side of history will you stand on?'