Young Indigenous people throughout Queensland are encouraged to apply for the 2015 Queensland Indigenous Youth Leadership Program.

The week-long program, held in Brisbane from 20 to 25 June, provides participants aged 18 to 25 with an exciting opportunity to develop their leadership skills and learn about Queensland’s democratic processes.

Minister for Communities and Youth Shannon Fentiman said the program was instrumental in assisting young people to influence positive change within their communities.

“It is always great to see young people take ownership and leadership over community issues,” she said.

“Past participants have returned to their communities with a new energy and focus on how to make things better.”

“Programs like these help inspire young people to become leaders and advocates of tomorrow.”

Part of the program is the Eric Deeral Indigenous Youth Parliament, named after Queensland’s first Indigenous Member of Parliament.

“Participants will have the opportunity to speak for and against a proposed Bill in the chambers of Parliament House and raise issues of personal significance in the presence of elected Members of Parliament,” Ms Fentiman said.

Forty participants will be selected to participate in the program which is co-delivered by the Department of Communities, Child Safety and Disability Services and the Queensland Parliamentary Service, and supported through a partnership with mining company Glencore.

Mentors will be assigned to work with participants during the program, offering inspiration, knowledge, experience and support.

Participants also have the opportunity to network with Elders, community leaders, Members of Parliament and senior government representatives.

Applications are open until Wednesday 29 April 2015.

For more information on the program or to apply online, visit www.qld.gov.au/atsi