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Bound for the Beehive

After submitting her speech on gender equality in the 2021 Future Leaders Challenge, Year 9 student Amelia Lee was thrilled to be selected as one of the winning entries. The budding politician will soon be heading to the Beehive for a first-hand experience of the parliamentary process in New Zealand.
ACG Sunderland Year 9 student, Amelia Lee

A compelling speech about gender inequality has earned ACG Sunderland student Amelia Lee a trip to Wellington to visit Parliament.

As one of the winners of the 2021 Future Leaders Challenge, Amelia impressed Challenge organisers – the Commonwealth Women Parliamentarians group (CWP) – with her passion and perspective.

“I think that since I spoke from personal experience, it helped me to be persuasive and really speak from the heart, which made my speech more engaging and powerful,” explains Amelia.

The new CWP competition aims to get young people thinking about gender issues facing their communities and grow their understanding of the change they can inspire.

“To me, the topic of gender equality is so important because I think that women should feel empowered and equal to men. So not only is it morally right, but it’s also beneficial to society, to have more people available to work in all kinds of jobs.”

It’s the first time Amelia has ever won a speech competition, and she couldn’t be more delighted.

“I was extremely excited, and finding out I won was definitely the highlight of this year. On a scale of one to 10, I would say 10! Now I get to kickstart my career and understand what it’s actually like to work in politics.”

Scheduled to make her way to the Beehive in March 2022, Amelia can’t wait to immerse herself in the political environment.

“Politics has always been something that I’ve been interested in, and I’m very passionate about creating change for the better. I hope to be in Parliament myself one day, and I thought entering this competition would be a good way to see if I did want to get into politics. I’m looking forward to learning more about the work environment in Parliament, and I can’t wait to soak up the atmosphere.

“Even though I’m currently only in Year 9, I hope to eventually go into law and politics because I love working with people and being an advocate for change. It’s so wonderful that ACG Sunderland has given me this opportunity to make a start.”