Ryan McDonald has taken a huge step towards pursuing a career in his chosen field after being selected to represent Oodgeroo in the 28th Queensland Youth Parliament.
The 18-year-old student is also the youth minister for Justice, Prevention of Family and Domestic Violence, and Police and Corrective Services.
It ties in perfectly with his law and economic studies, which he is completing at the University of Queensland.
“There is a multitude of issues that are facing young people and our local community at the moment in terms of economics and in terms of crime and health,” Mr McDonald said.
“I wanted to make that change. There have been a lot of issues within our community surrounding crime.
“When I was given the opportunity to be the youth minister for justice, that was certainly something I was willing to take to affect some positive change that way.”
The Ormiston College graduate said he enjoyed politics, but his priority was pursuing a career in law.
“I will always be around politics and through programs like this, I will still be able to contribute,” Mr McDonald said.
“But through my studies at the moment, becoming a lawyer is paramount to me and being able to affect change that way.
“Experiences like this do give a platform for young people to engage in politics in quite a constructive way as well, so it is certainly something that inspires our young people to become politicians.”
The YMCA Youth Parliament gives young people from across Queensland the opportunity to have their say on issues affecting their community, learn about parliamentary processes and hone their leadership skills.
School-aged participants in years 11 and 12 are also eligible to gain one point towards their Queensland Certificate of Education.
All 93 electorates across the state are represented in the YMCA Youth Parliament.
Mr McDonald said it was a huge privilege to be representing and giving back to Oodgeroo, having spent his entire life in the electorate.
“It’s an area that I’m quite fond of and know quite well,” Mr McDonald said.
He has met several local government Ministers and MPs since being sworn in as Youth Member, including Oodgeroo MP Mark Robinson, deputy opposition leader Jarrod Bleijie and Brisbane MP Stephen Bates.