The ALP has elected its first openly lesbian woman as the secretary of the youth wing of the party in NSW.

NSW Young Labor announced that Caitlin Roodenrys had been elected as NSW Young Labor Secretary earlier today.

Roodenrys says her lived experiences of growing up and coming out in a regional area have led her to want to advocate for greater regional representation and more recognition for young LGBTIQ people in the Labor Party and Australian politics in general.

“I know the challenges that young people face in coming to terms with their sexuality and identity, particularly in rural and regional areas. I know how much harder that is with a lack of services to support you,” Roodenrys said.

“I first began questioning my sexuality ten years ago, and at the time, the only service for LGBTIQ young people in the Illawarra had  closed. It is great to see that there are  programs and organisations now as well working with LGBTIQ young people in Wollongong.”

“But LGBTIQ young people in other regions don’t have that. If you’re a teenager thinking about coming out who lives in Bega, your closest youth-specific mental health service is in Nowra. If you’re in Orange then you have to travel to Sydney”.

“That is why advocating for more youth-specific services in rural and regional areas will be a priority as Secretary of NSW Young Labor”.

Roodenrys helped lead the marriage equality campaign in the Illawarra region and will be joined in the NSW Young Labor leadership team by Paul Mills, a first-generation Filipino migrant from Western Sydney who was recently elected president of NSW Young Labor.

NSW Young Labor is the largest youth political organisation in Australia and past NSW Young Labor presidents include former NSW Premier Bob Carr, former Prime Minister Paul Keating and current Federal Labor Leader, Anthony Albanese.

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