THE NSW Young Nationals are now pushing to extend the so-called Gonski education funding by two years, a policy position at odds with their federal Coalition counterparts. More than 70 "Young Nats" came from across the state for their annual general meeting in Dubbo, to vote in new office bearers and debate 24 policy motions.
The majority voted that the Gonski schools funding should cover a six-year period, rather than the four years pledged by the federal Coalition.
The inaugural NSW Young National of the Year, Zach Lederhose, 20, said extending Gonski would alleviate some of the disadvantage rural students faced.
"It benefits people in regional areas more than in metropolitan areas," Mr Lederhose, a veterinary science student at Wagga Wagga, said.
Outgoing chairman Felicity Walker said the Young Nationals now represented 20 per cent of the party's central council, up from 5 per cent a few years ago.
"We're very fortunate that the senior party of the Nats take the Young Nats seriously," she said.
The 28-year-old Ms Walker, born in Dubbo and raised at Gunnedah, was proud 16 of the 17 motions passed last year had been adopted by the NSW Nationals.
One of those policy positions - an opt-out system for organ donation - became the federal National Party's policy.
The man behind the motion, Dom Hopkinson, 20, was voted in as the new chairman.
"I want to build upon what Felicity's done," Mr Hopkinson said.
"I want to work on policy development, because there's a lot of people here who come from communities right around the state."
The annual general meeting saw the announcement of a $2000 scholarship for a student returning to work in the regions.
Dubbo MP Troy Grant was appointed as this year's patron of the Young Nationals, a position that links the youth and senior divisions of the party.