This week I am asking for your help.
We need to get young people engaged in political thought about the future of our country.
We need to make sure the leaders of tomorrow are truly ready to play a role in politics, business, the media, academia and in our communities.
It seems more important now than ever before.
We simply cannot vacate the field to the vocal minority. Young conservatives need to stand up and be counted and we need to help them.
That's why, six years ago, I founded the Conservative Leadership Foundation (CLF); a training and educational body dedicated to helping develop Australia's future leaders.
It's run by a group of volunteers who do a fantastic job (with very limited resources) providing opportunities for young conservatives across the nation.
The CLF initiatives include providing student internships, supporting conservatives on campus, a leadership reading program, international exchanges and hosting networking opportunities in every state.
Over the years, one of our most successful programs has been our annual writing competition. This year we are inviting young Australians aged 16-23 to submit an essay beginning with the words:
"If I were Prime Minister, I would...."
So simple and yet so full of possibilities. The prizes are great too. The overall winner receives $1000 with the best male and female secondary students receiving $500 each. A matching grant will be made to their educational institutions.
The application form and terms and conditions are available HERE.
And this is where I need your help. We need to get the word out to as many young people as possible. This is a great opportunity for them to engage in the battle of ideas whilst having a chance to win money for themselves and their school or university.
Who knows, some of their ideas might even get picked up by the current crop of politicians!
So, this week, I am asking you to help me get the word out. If you have sons and daughters, neighbours or grandchildren who might be interested, please let them know.
Perhaps you know a school teacher, club official or service organisation that could help spread the word. Let your local MP know they also need to get behind this initiative. Every little bit helps.
The more entries we receive, the more young people will have thought seriously about what needs to be done to get our nation back on the right track.
Their words can send a powerful message. Let's give them the opportunity.
You can find out more about the competition at: www.conservative.org.au/competition