CAITLYN Blanch is pushing for change, and has managed to secure a spot on the Y NSW Youth Parliament program to help her do so.
The year 10 Peel High School student is passionate about advocating for people with disabilities, and "making change for minorities and ensuring justice".
"When I saw the youth parliament I was really encouraged to do it because I thought that would be a good avenue for a young person to get their voice heard and make change," she said.
"We work towards creating a bill that could be changing current legislation and creating something that we see as either a better alternative or adjustment to what is currently in place for justice."
As part of the program, she will be part of the justice committee alongside other young people across the state, to model a bill to reform the Law Enforcement, Powers and Responsibilities Act.
The youth are all from years 10-12, and represent 90 different NSW electorates.
The committee is also focusing on the re-education of police and correctional officers on the treatment of people with disabilities, mental health and people of colour.
Luckily, with more technological programs than ever before, Caitlyn has been able to work with her fellow committee members via Zoom and by using Google Docs.
"I do think there's a deficit in opportunity being in a rural area but collaborating with people in urban areas has definitely broadened my perspective and allowed me to look at receiving more opportunities," Caitlyn told the Leader.
"We can do that and all do it at different times when it all fits with us comfortably, and we all get along well because it's something we're all passionate about."
Caitlyn will travel down to Sydney to meet with the members in person, undertaking a series of debates and team-building activities while she's there.
She encouraged young people to "take every opportunity you can to get your voice heard".
"Even if you feel like you might not necessarily be confident enough, if you have an opinion and you want it to be heard, make sure you get it out there and get it across to everyone you can," she said.
The opportunity will go a long way to help with her future aspirations, as she hopes to earn a double degree in law and politics.
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