Enabling change in our Society, Environment and Economy (SEE)

  • Home
  • Parliament of Youth on Sustainability 2017

Parliament of Youth on Sustainability 2017

2017 Parliament of Youth

Read the 2017 Parliament of Youth on Sustainability White Paper including the final 12 proposals from the Parliament.

Watch the WIN News report from the Parliament on 29 May 2017:

Listen to the ABC 666 radio report from the Parliament:


Proposal catches MLA’s eye!

Members of the ACT Legislative Assembly have asked for more information about one of the final proposals from the 2017 Parliament of Youth on Sustainability, a sign that our local politicians are taking the ideas of our young people seriously.

The Daramalan College proposal to improve the Cotter Dam catchment system by incorporating hydro-electricity generation has caught the attention of MLA Mick Gentleman. Well done to student Minister, Andrew Aitchison, his team mate, Terence Johnson, and their teacher, Colin Price. We’ll keep you posted on further developments.

Meeting of student Ministers with MLAs

And well done to all 10 Parliament of Youth student Ministers who met with the ACT Legislative Assembly Standing Committee on Environment and Transport and City Services on 13 June 2017. The students presented the final White Paper from the Parliament to MLAs and Committee members, Suzanne Orr (Chair), Steve Doszpot, Tara Cheyne and Mark Parton. They then presented 10 of the 12 final proposals.

The students were fine ambassadors for a sustainable Canberra and for their schools. Discussion about the proposals was robust with MLAs challenging the students to explain the benefits and practicality of their proposals, and students pressing the politicians to explain what they will do with the students’ ideas.

Outcomes of the 2017 Parliament of Youth on Sustainability

Congratulations to everyone who took part in the 2017 Parliament of Youth on Sustainability on 29 May 2017.

193 students from 21 schools participated with 41 additional students volunteering in various roles on the day.

Students in a full Parliament session at the 2017 Parliament of Youth on Sustainability (Photo: Lamis Kazak)

MLAs Shane Rattenbury, Nicole Lawder and Mick Gentleman took part in the question and answer session with the full Parliament of students and were on hand for the presentation of the final 12 proposals chosen by the year group committees.

Mick Gentleman, Nicole Lawder and Shane Rattenbury in the full Parliament session (Photo: Lamis Kazak)

At the end of the day, the student Parliamentarians voted for the six final proposals to be included in the Parliament White Paper.

Final six proposals

Reducing our pollution by using ‘Trace Free Transport’ – Burgmann Anglican College (Forde), Minister: Elijah Hezkial

Introduce a green footprint labelling system to indicate minimum and recyclable packaging – Trinity Christian School, Minister: Georgina Oke

Public bike sharing hire with bicycle stations at key points throughout Canberra – Trinity Christian School, Minister: Caide Spandow

YEAR 10 – YEAR 12
Waste free supermarkets by 2030 – St Mary MacKillop College, Minister: Aisling Kinsella

Foot fall harvesting – Install smart tiles in paved flooring to capture kinetic energy from pedestrians’ footsteps and convert it into electricity – Merici College, Minister: Caitlin Treble

Collection and recycling of soft plastics – St Mary MacKillop College, Minister: Lani Bevan


Other six proposals presented to the full Parliament

Reducing car pollution in Canberra by encouraging cycling – Red Hill Primary School, Minister: Alexander Paras

Don’t waste green waste! – Farrer Primary School, Minister: Emma Avakian

Upcycling waste – Palmerston Primary School, Minister: Isaac Atkinson, Charles Noble

Walk it/Ride it! – Kaleen Primary School, Minister: Victor Au

Establish school gardens and make gardening a compulsory subject in all schools across the ACT as part of the sustainability curriculum – St Francis Xavier College, Minister: Charlotte Drury

YEAR 10 – YEAR 12
A new and improved Cotter Dam catchment system – Daramalan College, Minister: Andrew Aitchison

Burgmann Anglican students at the 2017 Parliament (Photo: Zac Cristallo)

With thanks to our


  • ACT Government Environment and Planning
  • The Association of Independent Schools of the ACT (AISACT)
  • Catholic Education Office (Archdiocese of Canberra and Goulburn)
  • Education and Training Directorate
  • ACT Government