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Thursday, 29 November 2018
Page: 12099


Mr CREWTHER (Dunkley) (10:45): Yesterday, I joined 30 other members of parliament in the Jasiri's Girls Take Over Parliament challenge. This program pairs young women and girls with politicians to ensure their voices and opinions are heard. Through this, I was paired with 20-year-old Canberra local, Jess, a disability support worker and representative from Girl Guides. Jess spent the day with me yesterday and experienced parliament through the lens of a politician, attending various meetings to gain an insight into what I do day-to-day, including helping to write this speech. Throughout the day, I learnt that Jess is passionate about supporting people with various needs and ensuring that they are heard and supported. In her spare time, for example, she volunteers for the Australian Youth Climate Coalition and is a member of the Girl Guides. She enjoys running workshops for young women to support them to become fearless leaders. Through Girl Guides, she has been able to learn about how to advocate for what she truly believes in—building the future for our children and our grandchildren to come.

At just 20 years old, Jess has taken part in campaigns like Stop the Violence and, through the Jasiri organisation, she has been involved in the Supre Foundation. Through this, she has learnt about gendered and image based violence and how to support those who have been targeted. Image based bullying has a serious mental and physical impact on the people whose images are shared. Talking about this incredibly common issue can save lives. It is these skills that she has learnt through these opportunities that have shaped the way she lives her life.

The Girls Take Over Parliament program is inspiring young women and girls just like Jess to be national leaders. Ninety-five per cent of those who have participated in the program have said that they want to be politicians after their experience. This youth-led program is inspiring young leaders, girls, to represent and stand up for gender equality. It's starting conversations, changing futures and removing barriers. It's also making way for future policymakers, politicians and prime ministers.

I was proud to join the movement yesterday and I was also proud to have Jess join me in my office, particularly as someone who is also advocating for the women and girls in my life. Being the husband of my wife, Grace, and the father of my daughter, Yasmin, I am a passionate advocate for women in my electorate and nationally as well. I was proud to have Jess, and I thank her and all those involved in the Girls Take Over Parliament challenge for their wonderful program and activities yesterday in Parliament.