Queensland Regional Road Trip with Youth Rep Laura John by Alec Pokarier
At 6.30am on the 26th of May the sun continued to rise over a frosty Brisbane City, as I joined with Eve Bramley and Jordan Landers. Together we formed the UN Youth Roadtrip Facilitation team. Our role was to support Laura John on this section of her National Listening Tour.
Her immortal words still ring in my ears to this day and mark the first conversation we had as part of our three day event: “So Alec, how close is our first coffee stop?” ~Laura John. It was at this point that I realised this was the start of a beautiful friendship that would blossom over the next three days.
Our first stop on our regional Roadtrip was Toowoomba; Queensland’s gateway to the West and our State’s largest regional hub. The first day consisted of our two largest school workshops combined numbers reaching over 250 regional youths in the first day. What followed over the next three days was a wonderful, eventful and an intense schedule of engagements with our State’s regional youth and community organisations. The entire event reached the regional communities of: Miles, Kingaroy, Dalby and Toowoomba. This was my first convening style role within UN Youth QLD and I was blessed with two very knowledgeable, reliable and energetic facilitators. They really defined the experience and I couldn’t imagine having completed the three day Roadtrip with anyone else. Ms John has now reached the end of her consultation tour finishing in Western Australia and will now return home to Melbourne and prepare for her visit to the United Nations Headquarters. She is also preparing for her National feedback tour late in 2014. This three day regional event in regional Queensland was a pivotal part of Laura’s Queensland leg in the national tour. The Roadtrip allowed Queensland to provide full access to all five of Laura’s target groups. As well as giving Laura an insight into the thoughts, ideas and needs of regional youth in Queensland.
*Alec Pokarier is the 2014 UN Youth QLD Regional Road Trip Convenor*