Brindha Srinivas stepped into the shoes of a Parramatta MP during the inaugural YMCA Junior Parliament, and gained more confidence to boot.
Brindha, who lives in Wentworthville and goes to Penrith High School, was one of about 90 students who went on the five-day camp at Yarramundi during the school holidays.
Participants were separated into government and opposition to prepare and debate policies in parliament over two days.
"I thought it was a good way to learn about politics and gain some confidence speaking," Brindha said.
She was placed in the opposition planning and infrastructure committee and, in a two-minute speech, argued for a stronger community consultation process for government building projects of more than $500,000.
The committee's proposal included an optional survey through email, the local post office or public library.
"I actually really liked my committee," Brindha said.
"We won, so the policy was passed, which is good. Some of the speakers from the opposition actually crossed the floor, so it was conscience voting."
Brindha said a lesson in parliamentary etiquette was given by group leaders who were part of the YMCA Youth Parliament.
"You aren't allowed to clap because apparently it's disrespectful," she said.
"You have to sit up straight. You can't talk.
"You can pass notes to each other, but if it's government to opposition or vice versa the sergeant-in-arms is situated in the middle and they have to open the note and read it to see if it's good and not some immature things, then they send it to the person."