The Hon Robert French at Youth Democracy Forum
The Hon Robert French AC speaks at the Youth Democracy Forum.

Governor’s Lecture Series: Youth Democracy Forum

Panelists L-R: Glynn Greensmith, Hon Robert French AC, Cr Georgie Carey, Professor Benjamin Reilly

The Governor today hosted a special Youth Democracy Forum featuring youth representatives from WA’s five universities and key presenters, including Former Chief Justice of Australia the Hon Robert French AC, to discuss the emerging challenges to democracy.

Held as part of the Governor’s Lecturer Series the event provided an opportunity for young people to hear about, and contribute to, discussions around a range of topics centering on the future of democracy in Australia and globally.

Today’s Forum allowed youth participants to express their views and engage in an important discussion during #YouthWeekWA.

The Hon Robert French AC spoke about Law Making in a Representative Democracy and shared his thoughts on the challenges facing law makers in Australia, including the complexity of laws and how this works to undermine democracy with many Australians left behind in their understanding of laws, what they actually mean and how they are impacted by them.

The former Chief Justice was also joined by;

  • The Honourable Samantha Rowe MLC, Member for East Metropolitan Region; Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Child Protection; Women’s Interests; Prevention of Family and Domestic Violence; Community Services who presented on Australian Democracy in Practice.
  • Professor Benjamin Reilly; Political Scientist and Academic at the University of Western Australia who spoke about Global Threats to Democracies
  • Councillor Georgie Carey from the Town of Mosman Park, speaking about Youth Dis/Engagement in Democracy and;
  • Mr Glynn Greensmith – ABC Broadcaster and Lecturer at Curtin University who spoke on the topic of Democracy, Misinformation and the Media

Following the formal presentations and question and answer sessions, a panel discussion was held which provided the opportunity for discussion between both the presenters and participants. This discussion enabled the participants to provide their input and feedback on the views and values, not only the role of democracy in Australia, but also the future of democracy more broadly.

Attendees also spoke about their own future political aspirations and actions they can take to ensure a broader engagement by Australian youth in the discussion and role of democracy in Australian culture.

Glynn Greensmith, Curtin University lecturer, speaking to attendees at the conclusion of the forum.




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