For someone who is ‘super passionate’ to serve the community, Rosalie Norton’s ambition to represent the youth on a bigger scale, has become a reality.
This 17-years-old, Year 12 student at Hillcrest High School has been selected as the next Youth MP to represent Hamilton East electorate.
It was a no brainer for Rosalie Norton to put her hand up when she heard about the opportunity to represent the Hamilton East electorate at Youth Parliament.
This initiative was the next natural step for Rosalie who is currently a committee member at Seed Waikato and the Waikato Women’s Fund, whilst also the co-founder of Mindbox.NZ which is an initiative to help give youth the tools to thrive and look after their mental wellbeing.
“I really wanted to apply as I am super passionate for our community and already involved with a number of projects already and this opportunity as a Youth MP gives me a glimpse into the life of politics whilst also allowing me to be a voice for other youth in our community,” Rosalie said.
“This is also another way I can give back to the community the same way the community has given back to me as well.”
Youth Parliament is held every three years, and is an unique opportunity for young New Zealand’s democracy, influence government decision-making, and have their voices heard.
Her selection wasn’t easy. There was a vigorous application process in which applicants sent in video submissions to Hamilton East MP, Jamie Strange to screen and make a final selection.
“Making the choice as to who would be my next Youth MP was incredibly difficult due to the number of strong applicants I had,” Strange said.
“In the end it came down to the hard work that Rosalie had already down in our community and I’m excited to work with her on new projects throughout 2022,” he added.
Rosalie said being part of organisations such as Seed Waikato has allowed her to see some of the issues facing the local community and how to address them.
“I’m super passionate about getting involved in projects that aim to improve youth mental wellbeing and aim to create more opportunities for young people to thrive and express themselves in safe and inclusive spaces.”
Rosalie also has ‘huge leadership qualities’ and gives ‘100%’ to whatever she does, according to her school authorities.
Speaking to NewsViews today, the Hillcrest High School Principal, Kelvin Whiting said: “Rosalie is a delightful young lady, really involved in school life and gives everything a 100%.
“She has got huge leadership capabilities and this (selection as a Youth MP) is a sort of recognition, a fine reward for her commitment and dedication…She goes about her business with a smile on her face, wants to get involved, contribute and really represents that her peers do well, especially in pacific group at school that she is heading.”
Last year, Rosalie was also a guest speaker at TEDxRuakura outlining her journey so far in volunteering for her community and part of the Waikato Regional Council youth council. Outside of her many community roles, Rosalie Norton spends her time performing in local theatre, blog writing and music.
Youth Parliament programme runs every three years. It is an opportunity for 120 young people from across New Zealand to experience the political process and learn how government works. These Youth MPs advocate for their community and debate the issues that affect youth, on a national platform.
The Youth Parliament 2022 six-month programme will run from 1 March to 31 August, with the two-day event taking place on 19 and 20 July in the parliamentary precinct in Wellington.
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