Issy embraces youth role

Issy Sullivan is the Youth Member for the Southern Downs. (Supplied)

By Lucy Waldron

Issy Sullivan, a year 11 student from Assumption College, has grasped her new position as Youth Member for the Southern Downs with both hands.

Elected out of 500 applicants across Queensland, Issy was chosen to represent her electorate and the past six months have been nothing but busy for her.

She joined with the intention of expanding her knowledge of parliamentary processes and increasing her community engagement.

“I thought it would be a really good activity outside of school, and it has definitely helped me get more involved in the community,“ Issy said.

“I’ve had lots of people reaching out and inviting me to events, which I enjoy.“

Issy is passionate about raising awareness on repatriation, her primary focus within the Youth Parliament.

Queensland Youth Parliament is divided into eight ‘sub-committees’ which range from topics like water conservation, small business, tourism and First Nations issues.

“I am fortunate enough to be a part of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Partnerships Committee (ATSIP) which consists of 11 young people from all around Queensland, some are First Nations peoples, like myself, others are allies and this year we have representation from the South Sea Islands which creates such a diverse atmosphere within our group,” she said.

Despite being new to the council, Issy has quickly adapted to the complexities of parliamentary procedures.

“It was a lot to get my head around, but I’ve had great support from people who helped explain everything,“ she shared.

This year’s focus for the ATSIP Youth bill is repatriation. The Queensland Museum is currently holding 900 Human Remains and even more culturally significant artefacts away from First Nations communities.

“We aim to call for an easier and more transparent repatriation process and to change legislation in terms of language use, what loopholes are present and how human remains and culturally significant artefacts are being kept,” Issy said.

Using the knowledge and experiences she gained throughout her time in the Youth Parliament, Issy hopes to take on a leadership position at her school and eventually pursue a business degree, either in marketing or media.

“I’m currently working towards that by doing my Certificate III in Business and participating in programs like the National Indigenous Business Summer School,“ she said.

She encourages other students to consider joining the Queensland Youth Parliament.

“I’d encourage anyone to apply, especially those interested in making a difference.”