Student takes seat at Lords
A University of Adelaide student has headed off to London this month to represent South Australia in the Commonwealth Youth Parliament.
Twenty-one-year-old Lucy Radowicz, who is in the fourth year of a double degree (Arts and Law), is among approximately 100 students from around the world who will take part in a mock parliament debating some of the world's key issues, including climate change.
"Once I caught my breath, my first reaction was one of awe at the opportunity to debate in the House of Lords, where so many important legal cases have been heard, and laws which shaped Australia were debated," Lucy said.
"I've spent the last four years studying these laws, so to stand in the House of Lords and speak there myself will be somewhat surreal."
From 6-10 September, Lucy and the other students toured Parliament at the Palace of Westminster, view Question Time in the House of Commons and conduct a debate in the House of Lords Chamber as part of a fictional state known as 'Commonwealthland'.
The main focus will be climate change, where students will debate the challenge of reducing emissions in Commonwealthland by 100% by 2050.
Given Australia's current political focus on the carbon tax, Lucy said she hoped to bring her own unique perspective on the issue.
"I enjoy debating and public speaking and certainly won't be afraid to voice my thoughts in a public forum," she said.
In 2010 Lucy was part of the South Australian Parliamentary Internship Program. She created a report that detailed and highlighted the limits the State Parliament - specifically South Australia - has under the Federal Government.
Every year about 30 University of Adelaide students have the opportunity to participate in the SA Parliamentary Internship Program and it was Lucy's outstanding work there that led to her Commonwealth Youth Parliament selection in England.
"I thought the learning experience would end along with the semester, and all I would take away were new skills and great experience. I never anticipated I would be participating in a Youth Parliament in London just one year later," she said.
Regarding her future, Lucy is planning a career in public law, ultimately as a barrister.
"The knowledge and skills learned about the fundamental legislative process that I hope to gain at the Commonwealth Youth Parliament will be invaluable. I am also open to the possibility that this experience may lead me to explore other career options."
Story by Carmine D'Amico