Aroha Parkinson, Prime Minister Anthony Albanese, Reuben Simpson and Minister for Indigenous Australians Linda Burney in Canberra (Photo: Supplied)

May 23, 2024

What would you do if you were PM for a day?

Cherbourg YAG volunteer Reuben Simpson, 15, had the opportunity to experience a taste of life in Canberra recently after winning an Australian Indigenous Education Foundation competition.

Reuben, who attends Marist College at Ashgrove in Brisbane, flew to Canberra alongside fellow winner Aroha Parkinson, from Groote Eylandt.

The pair visited Parliament House and met Prime Minister Anthony Albanese and Minister for Indigenous Australians Linda Burney.

They also attended the National Apology Breakfast, rubbing shoulders with more MPs.

Reuben and Aroha were selected after preparing “campaign” speeches (see Reuben’s speech, below) about their ambition to become Prime Minister.

They were then invited to share their visions for the nation with the PM.

Despite his success in the competition, Reuben doesn’t actually want to become a politician … he’s dreaming of joining the RAAF and becoming a pilot.

Aroha, though, is more keen on politics and would like to one day see an Indigenous face in The Lodge.

The “If I Was Prime Minister” competition began in 2013 after the results of a survey were published which found two-thirds of Australians did not believe they would see an Indigenous Prime Minister in their lifetime.

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Reuben’s Campaign Speech

Hello. My name is Reuben Simpson, your future Prime Minister of Australia.

All Australians can find it tough. Currently some Australians are battling many social and economic issues which affect them socially and financially.

As Prime Minister and leader of the government it should be and will be my priority to tackle the important issues that are facing many Australians.

This is my plan.

Homelessness is an issue concerning a lot of Australians who are struggling as the cost of living goes up. Some people are even finding it difficult to meet the mortgage repayments because of the high interest rates. In some cases, people are losing their homes because they can’t pay their mortgage. As Prime Minister, my goal would be to introduce initiatives and repayment schemes to help Australians pay their mortgage. I would also introduce subsidies to assist with electricity bills and other household expenses.

Secondly, I would like to tackle the teen crime epidemic. The team crime epidemic is another issue that is currently affecting Australians; the high crime rate amongst our juvenile offenders. One obvious cause of this is the lack of education, employment prospects and other initiatives to prevent boredom.

As Prime Minister, it is important to tackle the cause rather than the outcome. To tackle the cause will help reduce the crime rate amongst our young people. As Prime Minister, I would establish groups of people in each major city whose purpose is to look at establishing meaningful programs for our youth, helping to keep them off the streets and out of trouble.

Thirdly, jobs and employment. Unemployment is the root cause of so many social and economic problems and affects so many Australians. As Prime Minister, my government’s focus would be providing tax relief to small businesses to enable them to be able to afford and hire extra staff and expand their own workforce. Providing grants to businesses would also help them expand their business and increase employment opportunities. Additional tax incentives for big business is also needed to assist their financial burdens and encourage greater employment.

Finally, as Prime Minister my priority and focus should be, and will be, on positive outcomes and personal success for all Australians. 

Tackling unemployment, high interest rates, youth crime and the current high standard cost of living, needs to be and must be addressed.

I would assure the Australian public of my government’s total commitment in addressing these issues.

Please join me on this exciting journey to success.

I’m Reuben Simpson,  your future Prime Minister of Australia.


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