SHABANA Aboo knows the value of having her voice heard.
Formerly from Zimbabwe, the Green Valley resident said she watched the growing frustration of her people when their efforts to change the system failed.
The incumbent president of Zimbabwe, Robert Mugabe, has been in power for 26 years.
Ms Aboo, 18, said although the country follows democratic procedures for federal elections, the elections were always overshadowed by a shroud of corruption.
"It really shocked me to see my peers not excited about their opportunity to vote in matters that affect this country," she said.
"I grew up seeing disadvantage, oppression and death. If people saw what I have seen, then they would appreciate the rights they have been given and take full advantage of the opportunity to have a say."
Ms Aboo said many of her peers were disengaged in the upcoming election and didn't care who won, or even if they voted.
"It is such a privilege to be able to vote in a free election, but the attitude of many of my friends is that they just don't care," she said.
"When they turned 16 they were all excited about legally being allowed to drive for the first time.
"Now at 18, when they are legally allowed to vote and have a say in the country's future — they are all shying away."
Ms Aboo said that in voting, it was beyond liking a particular person.
"It comes down to the policies," she said.
"What will affect you — your future, your family, your job?
"We can't base our vote on who looks better, or behaves better or even polls better.
"People always say, 'how is my one vote going to make a difference?'
"But our vote doesn't have to change society, we have been given the right to vote and we should exercise that right."