The ACT Greens have the pleasure of hosting this year’s Australian Young Greens National Conference. The Australian Young Greens have been working hard over the past few months developing a comprehensive conference program aimed at upskilling and empowering young people. The conference is set to take place in Canberra for the first time, from Friday 27th to Sunday 29th January 2017.
The theme of this year’s conference is ACT Now: Break the Two-Party System.
Labor and Liberal (or as Senator Richard Di Natale would say, the "Coles and Woollies of Australian politics") continue to disappoint voters with their lack of leadership on some of the biggest issues facing our nation and our planet, from refugees to climate change to marriage equality to a fair and equitable tax system. This lack of leadership and political fortitude leaves voters looking elsewhere.
This is no more evident than in the recent electoral success of Pauline Hanson’s One Nation party. While much could be said of this growing phenomenon, it’s fair to say Pauline’s success has been born in part from a lack of values-based leadership from the two old parties. This raises a few important questions for us Greens.
- How do we capitalise on this growing disengagement with two-party politics?
- What kind of campaigns do we need to run?
- How do we educate voters that we, the Greens, represent the values and aspirations of the mainstream Australian progressive voter?
In addition to discussing these complicated and nuanced questions, the conference also underpins the next 12 months of activity for the Australian Young Greens. We will elect an executive and commence planning our future campaigns, particularly on university campuses. More than this though, the conference provides progressive young people from across Australia with the opportunity to network and build relationships with other politically active young people. This serves as a great opportunity to upskill and resource-share in an effort to further empower young people’s participation within our party and politics more broadly. Conference workshops will touch on a broad range of topics from policy to campaigning, candidates training to fundraising as well as a range of social activities.
One of the Greens' strongest assets is our strong, engaged young people who continue to perform at high levels on our campaigns right across the country and contribute enormously to the development of our policy platform. The Australian Young Greens Conference is just one small way we can continue to develop and empower young people to reach their potential within our movement and contribute to our party's electoral success.