Women's Interests Committee members of Youth Parliament 2017 are celebrating a major achievement, as the Online Sexual Harassment and Cyber Security Bill (2017) has influenced state legislation.
The bill ran for the first time within Youth Parliament proceedings, attaining 50 'ayes', zero 'noes', and two abstentions; becoming the first bill to pass Youth Parliament proceedings without any opposition.
Josh Cahill, Youth Parliament Program Coordinator, congratulated the success of the bill and its movement to state legislation.
"We are so proud and excited to see the work of our Youth Parliamentarians influence State Parliament. Their bill, the Online Sexual Harassment and Cyber Security Bill (2017), was passed unanimously, and we have just seen the passing of similar legislation on Revenge Porn in our State Parliament in the Criminal Law Amendment (Intimate Images) Bill 2018."
Simone McGurk MLA also commended the success of the bill, discussing her interaction with Women's Interests Committee members.
"I was contacted by Taylor Watson, who last year took on the role of Shadow Minister for Women’s Interests."
"Taylor and her peers were motivated to address this issue because they believed it disproportionately impacts on young women as all persuasive social media encroaches on all of our lives and especially across high school and university campuses."
"The bill is an overwhelming endorsement of the view that better legal protections are required in relation to this issue."
Youth Parliament aims to educate, empower and encourage young people to take an active role in their community by contributing the views and recommendations of changes they want to see at a state level. Participants were selected by an application form and survey to determine the most suitable candidates.
Youth Parliament has been running for 22 years in Western Australia with the assistance of the Department of Communities and a group of committed YMCA WA volunteers. Participants range from 15 - 25 years of age, and participate in months of drafting and submitting legislation, before participating in a week long camp with their peers throughout Youth Parliament proceedings week.
For more information, check out our Youth Parliament page.
Top row: Lydia Kerrell-Vaughan
Middle row (left to right): Eliza Smith, Megan Elliot, Ella Taylor
Front row (left to right): Orla Latawski, Taylor Watson, Savannah Benson