Parkes newest representative stands up for Indigenous youth in Canberra

24 May 2017

The Member for Riverina and Minister for Small Business has welcomed Parkes local, Brenton Hawken to Canberra and congratulated him for his participation in the 2017 National Indigenous Youth Parliament (NIYP) taking place at Old Parliament House this week (22 – 26 May 2017). 

Brenton who is currently studying a Bachelor of Education at Charles Sturt University in Wagga Wagga was selected from a field of 306 applicants across Australia and has this week been engaged in an intensive week-long leadership program with 50 other young Indigenous Australians.  

The program has involved meeting with Parliamentarians, business, community and Indigenous leaders and learning about the parliamentary process, as well as participating in a two-day simulated Parliament where youth parliamentarians have debated bills on issues identified by the participants, including education, employment, improving access to mental health, human rights and drug and alcohol rehabilitation services. 

Mr McCormack said how delighted he was to meet Brenton earlier this month and sponsor part of his participation in the NIYP.  

“Brenton, his family and peers should be proud of his selection as a member of the NIYP, because his participation highlights his achievement as a proactive individual, positive role model, who strives to make a personal contribution to his community,” Mr McCormack said.  

“I commend Brenton for taking such an active interest in speaking up for and on behalf of his community and for both indigenous and non-indigenous youth alike. 

Brenton has indicated he’d one day like to become a school principal so he can inspire the next generation of youth to pursue their goals and dreams.  

“I have no doubt we’ll see more of Brenton in the future as an up and coming leader and I absolutely encourage Brenton to follow his dreams and wish him every success as he sets out to do so.” 

The NIYP is delivered by the Australian Electoral Commission in collaboration with the YMCA and the Museum of Australian Democracy. More information on the NIYP can be accessed by visiting: or by contacting Mr McCormack’s electorate office. 


Dom Hopkinson