Press Releases 2014-2015

UWTSD Student Represents Wales at Commonwealth Youth Parliament

11.12.2015

A final-year student from University of Wales Trinity Saint David (UWTSD) has represented the young people of Wales at the 7th Commonwealth Youth Parliament (CYP), which took place in Australia recently.

Alexandra Atkins

Youth and Community Work student Alexandra Atkins, from Swansea, represented Wales at the CYP in Darwin, Australia, on behalf of the Wales Branch of the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association. She was chosen following a competitive application process which included an interview with four Welsh Assembly Members.

The purpose of the CYP is to allow young people from across the Commonwealth to experience political life in a mock Parliamentary setting. This included: creating political parties; writing manifestos; looking a policies; establishing a Government and Opposition; question time and debates; creating a Bill of Law.

This year’s CYP took place within the Legislative Assembly of the Northern Territory in Darwin.

Alexandra said: “Before the political process started we were divided into our selected political parties, either Conservatives or Progressives. We were able to choose which party we wanted to join after reading the manifestos they supplied to us. There were also delegates who wanted to sit as Independents. I become a member of the Conservative’s ‘Commonwealth United Party’, who formed the minority Government, and I was elected as the Youth Affairs Minister.”

About her selection to represent Wales, Alexandra said: “When I was contacted to say I had been selected to attend the CYP I was over the moon and broke down with tears of happiness. Overall, my experience was life changing. It was a superb opportunity which allowed me to learn so much about my capabilities and strengths. It also gave me the chance to travel to the other side of the world, meet people from around the Commonwealth and learn about Parliamentary procedures.”

Alexandra is a Young Carer and works for Swansea Carers Centre as a Young Adult Carers Worker as well as being a Female and Mixtup Youth Worker for the Ethnic Youth Support Team. She is also Vice-Chair of the Children and Young People's Assembly for Wales and co-wrote/edited a report about the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child on behalf of young people in Wales, which she presented to the UN committee in Geneva last October.

Steven Stokes, Principal Communications Officer at UWTSD and former Chair of Trustees at Carers Trust Swansea Bay, said: “Alexandra is a remarkable young lady. Despite being a Young Carer and studying for a degree, she still finds time to support a number of organisations and charities – including Carers Trust Swansea Bay. Alex works tirelessly in her pursue to help others and has a strong sense of social justice. I can think of nobody better to be the voice of young people across Wales.”