YOUTH VOICE IN PARLIAMENT - Raise Your Voice in Parliament - Ashleigh

YOUTH VOICE IN PARLIAMENT - Raise Your Voice in Parliament - Ashleigh Main Image

By Louise Pratt

14 November 2023

Statements by Senators

Today I put on the record the words of Ashleigh, who is aged 14, as part of Raise Your Voice in Parliament. I want to say thank you to Ashleigh for putting the needs of children in Australia on the record and helping me to do that.

Ashleigh says:

A very important topic to me as a young girl living in Australia is the fact that more and more children everywhere are ending up in the streets and living in unliveable circumstances.

It can happen to anyone but yet no one will give kids a break if they are.

I've heard kids at my school make fun of others because their uniform is ratty or unwashed over a weekend.

But no one ever seems to wonder why it's that way.

Is it just the way things are or is society building these terrible habits of judging before even trying to understand a person's situation.

Neither are good options, and our government is not doing enough, how is a kid meant to go to school get good grades, then come home and have to try and help their parents make ends meet.

All while also being a normal kid.

This situation is lose lose.

Focus on school and lose the house, focus on their houses cleanliness they flunk school and lose the house anyway, work to help keep the house, the house becomes horribly neglected and your school works not done.

Why should any kid live like this?

If a child is in these situations their mental health will rapidly decline and leave them in a terrible condition.

They will be stuck and continue the cycle of poverty they were either born into or thrown into.

Is this something we want for the future of our country?

I am calling on the government to save the youth of Australia and offer some free deep cleanings of unliveable standards of housing, without stigma.

Some extra support for children like tutoring if they can't afford it themselves and Centrelink payments raised.

We need to focus more on Australian citizens and less on tourists who will be here for a week or two.