History will be made this week when young Indigenous Queenslanders take over Parliament House for the state’s first-ever Indigenous Youth Parliament.Lerissa Kynuna with Curtis Pitt

Member for Mulgrave Curtis Pitt yesterday met with Larissa Kynuna prior to her departure for the state capital.

Mr Pitt said the Indigenous Youth Parliament is all about shaping tomorrow’s leaders today. 

“These bright, young men and women will learn about the democratic processes that have helped shape Queensland,” Mr Pitt said.

“They will gain a greater awareness of democracy. That’s important because awareness leads to understanding, understanding leads to empathy, and empathy and compassion are the catalysts for lasting social change.

“True reconciliation will not be achieved until Indigenous people take their rightful place in this House.”

Forty seats in the Red Chamber will be occupied by young Indigenous people who will debate an  Indigenous Youth Communities Bill and take part in a Yarning Circle, based on Indigenous Governance systems.

Representing the Far North in Parliament is Ms Lerissa Kynuna, who is particularly concerned with reducing the rates of reoffending among youth in contact with the justice system by increasing education and employment pathways for Indigenous young people.

“I would like to see more Indigenous people involved in the justice system and a greater promotion of crime prevention strategies in communities,” Ms Kynuna said.

 “I would also like to see a strengthening of Indigenous government in communities to protect traditional beliefs and way of life.”

Ms Kynuna, 20 from Yarrabah, is employed as a Justice Group Assistant Coordinator and is studying Law.