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Community & Business

17 April, 2023

Olivia’s Heywire trip to Canberra

A room full of like-minded people has inspired our very own Olivia Amiet after her recent ABC Heywire trip to Canberra.

By Emily Middleton

‘Super fun”, “rewarding”, and “challenging” were the words Olivia used to describe the experience, where winners from all over the country gathered to brainstorm programs to pitch to our politicians.

Last year, Olivia was the western plains winner of ABC Heywire, after she entered a poem she wrote about her parents’ divorce. Winners were then invited to an event in Canberra, where they discussed and presented ideas of change for regional Australia to members of parliament.

“The best part was meeting all the other winners, and working on the different programs and things we could take to parliament,” Olivia said.

As a group, the winners came-up with six topics that they wanted to focus on. These were education, mental health, living with a disability, the Indigenous Voice, cost-of-living, and safe spaces for young people. From there, everybody split into the topic they were most passionate about.

“I chose education, and there were seven in our group,” Olivia said.

“We came-up with a program that would help reduce teachers’ personal development hours by targeting the four areas we think are lacking.

“We talked about proper and current sex education and consent, cultural diversity, neurodiversity, and holistic health (mental, physical and spiritual health).”

The group presented their idea to the panel, which had fantastic feedback. “They loved the idea of linking it all to personal development, with all the workload pressures teachers are under at the moment.”

Olivia said that communities and different people can now apply for grants to these programs, to try and implement it into their communities.

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