90 Second Statement: Girls Take Over Parliament
Today is the day that Girls Take Over Parliament. Girls Take Over Parliament is a program organised by Jasiri Australia, in partnership with the Alannah & Madeline Foundation and Girl Guides, to enable girls aged between 12 and 20 to be politicians for the day.
This year I'm paired With Ella Ezergailis from Girl Guides ACT. Here she is, in the chamber. Ella is in year 6 at Gowrie Primary School in my electorate of Canberra. She is a school vice-captain and class representative on the student representative council. Earlier this year, Ella was awarded the Gowrie Cup for being an outstanding citizen of Gowrie Primary School. I asked Ella why it was important for her to take part in this program, and she said:
I wanted to have a say in my country plus see how it is run. I also wanted to show Australia that girls and young people want to have their say.
I would like to change the acronym STEM to STEAM because you also need artistic flair to solve problems, think outside the box and build marvels of the world.
It is important to me that everyone is represented equally, no matter who they are.
I am proud to have a change-maker taking over my office today, and she's eating plenty of Tim Tams too. I hope that as a future leader, should she get into this place, or if she inspires others as an arts teacher, she will empower the next generation of girls to realise their true potential and to live a bold, big life, free of fear, in true equality.