SPEAK UP: Our kids chance to speak in parliament
IF YOU think you've got something that the nation's leaders to say, or are even eyeing off a future in politics, there's a competition just for you.
The Australian Parliament House is opening its doors for students from Years 10-12 to make their 'maiden' speech on the floor of the House Of Representatives.
Entries for the competition close on October 19, and details are available from www.aph.gov.au/myfirstspeech, and if you're looking for some local inspiration, we asked our two local representatives their memories of their first speehces to parliament.
Member for Page Kevin Hogan gave his maiden speech on November 22, 2014.
"My family and close friends were there. It is a moment when you realise what an honour it is that your community have put their faith and trust in you to be their representative,” he said.
"I think it is important to express your beliefs and values, what motivated you to become a community representative. The thing I remember most about mine, that still rings true, was my last sentence.
"And I say to the people of Page, my community, I will always speak for what I believe is in your interests and vote for things that are for the best interests of our community and our great nation of Australia.”
Member for Clarence Chris Gulaptis gave his maiden speech on February 21, 2012
Mr Gulaptis remembers his first speech to the often rowdy NSW Parliament, though it was not the first time he had spoken in the house.
"They call it 'inaugural speech' these days which in my case is not accurate. The first time I spoke in Parliament was to ask a question in Question Time in November 2011. I wouldn't give my maiden speech until three months later,” he said.
"I was nervous of course. I had heard the NSW Parliament was known as the bear pit, and it can certainly be that at times. I started and finished my speech with the words 'Thank you. I will not let you down.'
"That was my vow to the good people of the Clarence electorate who placed their trust in me and that is what I have strived to do ever since. There is no greater honour than to be entrusted to represent your community. It's a responsibility I take very seriously and certainly not for granted.”