The following was recently added to Zali’s Facebook page
Last November Vivienne Paduch, a young Warringah constituent, did us proud when she represented the Australian Federal Branch at the 11th Commonwealth Youth Parliament in Trinidad & Tobago. Over 4 days young people aged 18 to 29 came together in a mock parliament and debated the ‘Remote Work from Home & 4-Day Working Week Bill’ to learn how parliament works and forge connections with a diverse group of young leaders from around the world. In my role as federal MP I had nominated Vivienne who has been volunteering in my office since 2019 to the Australian selection panel.
Vivienne said her most memorable moment came when Kilisitina Moala, the youth representative from Tonga, was moved to tears as she described the effects of climate change on small island nations: “The land that my future lies on is sinking.” Kilisitina urged leaders to remember that our choices today determine the outcomes of tomorrow. While the ‘government’ and ‘opposition’ in mock parliament had previously debated in a more adversarial style, both sides of parliament rose above party politics to support their fellow parliamentarian.
Last Monday, Vivienne gave a presentation about her experience to Mosman Rotary Club to thank them for contributing to her travel costs. Thank you, Mosman Rotary Club, for supporting our youth, including your long-running international youth exchange program, enabling many Australian and international students to experience different cultures. The more we know about each other, the better we can work together towards a peaceful, united world that tackles our big issues.