Teen to share ideas with YMCA youth parliament
FROM a young age it was evident Karen Boulton had a love for politics.
She would listen intently to the making of legislations, changes to amendments and bills.
Two years ago she heard about the YMCA Qld Youth Parliament and couldn't wait to turn 15 to apply.
Even though Karen is 14 years now she fit the criteria and nominated herself.
She organised references from MP Bruce Saunders and Fraser Coast acting mayor George Seymour and composed an essay on her love for Maryborough and its community.
"I have always had a love for my community and being passionate about getting involved anyway I can," she said.
"My family and I have helped each year at the HPV, Victory Care Service food giveaway and other community events.
"We are a member of the Maryborough City Church - when our church would get involved in something and we would get involved."
Karen said a few years ago she was deciding her future.
"I have always loved listening to when politicians are debating the bills, writing down legislation," she said.
"I didn't realise that I had a heart for it until one day while travelling in the car with Mum and listening to politics, Mum asked me if I liked it.
"She explained it to me and it was clear - when I am older I either want to be a politician or a lawyer."
The young politician received news on March 12 that she was to be Maryborough's representative and has been allocated the Department of Justice and Attorney General.
Proud parents Peter and Catherine said it was a fantastic opportunity for their daughter.
"Not many teenagers will receive this opportunity in their life," Mum said.
"On launch weekend she will meet with all the state members.
"I'm excited for her learning opportunities."
In her essay component of the application she was asked about youth issues and how she might solve them.
Through news reports Karen has summarised that her youth electorate needs something to keep them active and away from illegal activities and recklessness.
"My electorate is from 12-25 years old," Karen said.
"Our youth don't have much to do.
"Most people I speak to say it is this and this and this that is wrong with the youth but what I see it as if we make the youth feel like they have a place and involved in something then it wont lead to other issues like crime, drugs, alcohol abuse,
"I am hoping to work towards a goal for the future which is to see a multi-purpose youth drop-in centre.
"Having events in the city is great but we need to look at the long term - the future.
"As the member I am not just caring for our youth today but looking at the kids at primary school and I have got nieces and nephews who aren't even at school - I am thinking about them too.
"I don't want this to be a tradition or a pattern that is followed with drugs, alcohol abuse, crimes and other issues."
Karen will announce her youth parliament position at the Skate and Sound event on Friday night.
"I will be officially recognised as the member of youth parliament at the Skate and Sound event on Friday night," she said.
"I want to be the advocate for these young people - I want to listen to their ideas. I am the link between them and the government
"I am the person they can come to."
Contact Karen at maryborough@ymcaqyp. org.au.
Shewill head to Brisbane on April 20 for the launch weekend of the YMCA Qld Youth Parliament were she will be sworn in.