YPAT (Young Political Advocacy Training) is a week long residential training program for young people aged 18 – 30. Run by the National Civic Council and based on the tenets of Christian Social Teaching, it now has over 200 alumni. Applications are currently open for the 2021 session running from 04 – 10 July in Brisbane, Queensland. Apply here.
Today we chat to Michelle Ryan (YPAT 2019) about her experience.
Why did you go to YPAT? How did you hear about it?
I heard about YPAT from several different friends who had attended or helped run the program. After hearing their testimonials, and looking at the program description, I just had to experience it for myself!
What activities were there?
We had daily talks from many incredible speakers such as politicians, journalists, lawyers, and others who had experience in either public life or public policy. Other activities included a visit to State Parliament, sports and games, group discussions, a debate, and time to socialise and network.
What was your favourite part of the week?
I loved all of it, but one of the standouts for me was spending time with the speakers. Sitting chatting, getting a politician’s advice while our group prepared our contribution for the mock debate, and having meals with them. It made you feel valued that these very busy people invested in us with their time and advice.
Did you gain a deeper understanding of something you thought you understood already?
One example is how much you can have an influence as a member of a political party. YPAT didn’t advocate for being a member of any particular party, but there was a great talk on the process if you had a vote on policy issues or pre-selection within a political party. It dug deeper into the process and impact you can have than I had heard described before.
What’s an example of something you didn’t understand that YPAT cleared up for you?
It’s more an example of a new perspective. A talk was given on the value of trade unions, and how they can operate when run well. Although I was aware of the arguments some make for and against trade unions, the speaker provided a very balanced perspective on the topic.
Is it important for young people to be politically informed/involved?
Very. Politics affects almost every area of our lives, and being informed is a major step towards being empowered to make a difference in the spheres that you care about.
What was your favourite aspect of the residential experience?
Having meals together, and getting to know each other during the week. I made great friends at YPAT, and I still keep in touch with many of them.
Would you recommend YPAT to a parent or grandparent for their university-aged child?
YPAT is a great program, run by very knowledgeable and caring people. I would highly recommend it for any university-aged person. The content and format are great for equipping and encouraging personal and professional growth in a young person.
Apply for the 2021 session of YPAT running from 04 – 10 July in Brisbane, Queensland here.
“Attending YPAT has been one of the most beneficial experiences of my life so far. This is thanks to the very generous donors who sponsored and supported me. I cannot thank them enough.” – 2019 YPAT Sponsorship Recipient
Keen to invest in the future of a young person? Why not make sure someone who otherwise couldn’t go is able to attend YPAT and receive the foundation they need to success in a culturally challenged world?
Various levels of sponsorship are available to suit every budget. Post YPAT, we will endeavour to arrange a meeting or phone call between you and the young person who you’ve sponsored so they can share what YPAT meant to them.
YPAT is a once in a lifetime opportunity to meet likeminded world changers, access the best speakers and thinkers and enjoy a week jam-packed with activities, learning and lifelong memories. Open to any young person of good faith aged 18 – 30. Apply here today!