Heidi Nicholson doesn't like being told she's from an entitled generation.
"Education was free, your job market was easy as, there's no such thing as credentialism in the Baby Boom-generation, and I sit here and go, 'Who's entitled?'
"And it sucks because they're the people making decisions for this country at the moment because they've got the consensus," Ms Nicholson, 18, said.
Along with friend Tiarne Brown, 18, Ms Nicholson will vote in her first federal election later this month, having grown up in a town close to Canberra that can still feel "a million miles away".
The Canberra Times stopped at Cooma, 114 kilometres south of the capital, on a trip around Eden-Monaro to find out what issues mattered to voters ahead of the election on May 18.
The electorate lost its bellwether status when Labor's Mike Kelly retained the seat at the last election while the Coalition clung to power, but the margin of just under 6 per cent still makes it a tight contest.
Farmers spoke of their concern around water management while local business owners said better road infrastructure was required to keep tourists moving through the regions.
At every stop people spoke of their frustration with politicians who had over promised and hardly delivered.
We want to set a tone of how we want our government and our country and our world to be run.Tiarne Brown
The major parties were out of touch, people from Tumut to Tathra told The Canberra Times, and picking between who was on offer was an impossible task because no one could be trusted.
Ms Brown, who is finishing year 12, and Ms Nicholson, who commutes to study at the Australian Catholic University in Canberra, felt the weight of responsibility that voting gives them.
Both wanted to make sure they did not waste the chance.
"We're coming through as a new generation. We want to set a tone of how we want our government and our country and our world to be run," Ms Brown said.
Ms Nicholson and Ms Brown both pointed to climate change, healthcare, the arts and education as issues which mattered to them.
"I feel like I have to think of myself but I also have to think of everyone else around me. How is it going to affect them how I vote?" Ms Brown said.
They both voted for candidates in the NSW state election based on who had been active in their own communities, making a difference they could see, but found the process "overwhelming". The result left Ms Nicholson frustrated.
And they were unsatisfied with the explanation Prime Minister Scott Morrison had given for deposing Malcolm Turnbull.
"I feel like it all happens behind closed doors and then it's announced," Ms Brown said.
Politicians from major parties did not understand life in rural Australia, but social media helped them be part of bigger political movements.
"I feel like with social media, it does allow us to have a say and be a part of it, but I do feel that slight isolation being in a rural town in a political sense. It's not like there's a rally on, like in Sydney, that we can just go to," Ms Brown said.
"Sometimes someone [at university in Canberra] will say something about the election or something like that and I go, I didn't even know that," Ms Nicholson said.
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Conversations between friends, parents and teachers remained an important source of information about politics, how to vote and the election, she said.
Labor has promised $3.5 million for a Headspace centre in Cooma to provide youth mental health services if elected and both Ms Nicholson and Ms Brown know how important the services were to their town.
"Headspace is really important to my year group at school. We've had a lot of kids struggle with mental health. ... It just has affected so many young people that I know," Ms Brown said.
Ms Nicholson said the biggest difference between young voters and older voters was that older people voted for what they wanted, not what they needed.
"My nan will always say, 'I want this politician to do this', but I say, 'What do you need your politicians to be doing?'"
- A battle for votes is being fought in town and cities all around the nation. To understand the issues resonating in regional Australia this federal election sign up to receive a daily email with curated stories of people and places from all around Australia.