UN Youth Tasmania can absolutely appreciate that there may be a lot of questions about State Conference, and as such we have prepared a comprehensive list of FAQs.
About State Conference
When and where is State Conference?
State Conference is being held from Friday 13 to Monday 16 March 2020. It is a residential event, so students will need to be dropped off at the Lea Scout Centre at 4pm on Friday, and be collected at 3pm on Monday. Further details will be released closer to the date, and students will be informed via email.
What if I can’t be dropped off at the Lea?
UN Youth Tasmania provides a bus to the Lea Scout Centre from the Redline bus stop in Hobart, departing at 4pm. Students will be given the option to catch this bus on the registration form. This is convenient for those who need to catch Redline buses from the north of the state to get to State Conference.
Who can attend State Conference?
Any Tasmanian school student in grades 9 to 12. No prior knowledge or skills are required!
Is State Conference a weekend of just debating?
No! While we admit that there will be some debating involved, a large part of State Conference is learning about global issues, including through interactive workshops. In addition, we have an exciting crisis simulation session where students are sorted into teams and act as different interest groups in a developing crisis situation – nuclear war often results!
Do you need to already know people or have friends at the event?
Absolutely not! State Conference is a great place to make new friends, we put a particular emphasis on playing get to know you games and running social activities so that students who don’t know anyone prior to the conference come out of it with a group of new friends.
About UN Youth Tasmania
Who’s running the event?
UN Youth Australia is a national youth led organisation, coordinated entirely by young volunteers aged 18-25. We are dedicated to educating young people about international relations, providing an avenue for the expression of youth opinion and empowering young people to engage with society.
Through its eight divisions in each state and territory, UN Youth Australia provides an impressive array of events each year for secondary students centred around global affairs. We equip students with the skills and the confidence needed to voice their informed opinions, and to make positive changes on local, national and global levels. We believe in the value of peer-to-peer education and have been inspiring young students for decades to become engaged with the world around them.
To achieve these goals, our passionate volunteers facilitate a number of events including State Conference, Junior Leadership Weekend, the Evatt and Voice competitions, and multiple summits on issues such as climate change and Australia’s role in the Asia-Pacific region.
Are there going to be teachers/grown-ups/adult figures?
State Conference is staffed full-time by our volunteers, who are between the ages of 18-25, are required to have a Working with Vulnerable People check and undergo training prior to the conference. These include several welfare officers who spend their time looking after the physical and emotional wellbeing of its attendees. At State Conference, there will be three welfare officers, all of whom will possess the relevant first aid qualifications.
Risk management plan
UN Youth Tasmania is committed to ensuring that all of our participants and volunteers have a fun and safe experience at our events. To help us to make sure that this happens at State Conference, we have a comprehensive risk management plan that outlines possible risks and steps to minimus those risks. If you have more specific questions about our risk management plan, please feel free to contact our Head of Welfare for State Conference, Cassady Swinbourne.
Our Welfare Policies
UN Youth Australia has a comprehensive Federal Welfare Policy that governs the behaviour of volunteers and participants at our events. It puts in place practices that aim to ensure the welfare of all students at our events, and to make sure that they have a good time. A copy of UN Youth Australia’s Federal Welfare Policy is available here.
Are you the real UN?
UN Youth Tasmania is a division of UN Youth Australia, which is affiliated to the United Nations Association of Australia (UNAA). The UNAA is a member of the World Federation of United Nations Associations (WFUNA), which is affiliated to the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations. It is from this involvement that UN Youth Tasmania has an official licence to use the image and trademark of the United Nations.
Is food included in the registration fee?
State Conference is fully catered. We provide breakfast, morning tea, lunch, afternoon tea and dinner. We cater for all dietary requirements, and are happy to work with students who may have more complicated dietary requirements. We know how important it is that all of our participants are well fed to ensure that they enjoy the conference, and we always have snacks on hand if students do start to get hungry between meal times.
What kind of social activities do you run at the event?
State Conference aims to create a respectful social environment, allowing attendees to connect with other passionate, like-minded young people and make life-long friends. One of the best parts about State Conference is the fun social activities that students participate in, including a quiz night and disco.
What is the dress code?
For most of the days at State Conference, students will need to wear casual and weather appropriate clothes (e.g. jeans and a jumper). However, on the last day, we will have a debate simulating the United Nations’ General Assembly, in which students will wear business wear (e.g. dress pants, a button down top and a tie or a nice dress). If students don’t own or have access to business wear, school uniform may be used (e.g. blouses or school pants), and op shops are also a good source of cheap business wear. Additionally, there will be a themed disco on one of the nights. We encourage students to create and wear costumes in line with this theme, which will be revealed closer to the date.
What is the cost and how can I seek bursaries or sponsorship?
UN Youth Tasmania will provide a limited amount of bursaries to students attending State Conference, these will be considered based on an application process. Outside of this, UN Youth Australia has a great fundraising guide which can be found here, and outlines several potential sources for sponsorship including local politicians and clubs.
What should I bring?
Students will get a comprehensive packing list before the event detailing what they need to bring. This will include things like clothes for four days, toiletries (including a towel) and some bedding (eg. a sleeping bag or doona).
Will photos be taken during the event?
At our events we take photos for students to keep and remember the great time they had at State Conference, and permission to be photographed for this reason is included on terms and conditions signed upon registration. We also often use these photos for future advertising of our events. It is a priority to us that everyone feels comfortable at our events, so if for any reason students do not wish to be photographed, please just let us know.
Where will the conference be held and what venues will be used?
The main venue for State Conference is the Lea Scout Centre, and throughout the event we will bus to different venues around Hobart for our workshops and debates. More information will be available sooner to the conference about the specific venues that we will be using.
What transport will be used during the conference?
Throughout the event we will be catching buses from the Lea to different venues in the greater Hobart area. There will also be a bus available to students from Hobart to the Lea on the first day of the conference. We strive to ensure that transport is accessible to all students, and if you have accessibility needs we will make sure they are met. If you have any questions or concerns, please get in contact with either the Convenor, Stewart Jackson, or the Head of Welfare, Cassady Swinbourne.
I don’t live in Hobart. Can I still come?
Absolutely! UN Youth Tasmania is committed to ensuring that all of our programs are accessible to students who live outside of Hobart. On the day of State Conference we will have a bus that will take students from the Redline station in Hobart to the venue, and we can help to coordinate transport for students who live outside of Hobart. Transport subsidies are also available through application to students from outside of Hobart.
Do I need to do any preparation for this conference?
The Model United Nations debating at State Conference is designed to be fun, easy to participate in, and non-competitive, so don’t worry about your level of prior knowledge. You will be debating a series of resolutions, which are papers consisting of various clauses that usually relate to a particular issue (sort of like bills in Parliament). It may be useful to look into some basic facts about your country’s international relations and opinion on some of the resolutions when they’re released, as this can help you feel more confident in debate, and make it easier to get involved.
What is Model United Nations debating?
At State Conference, students will act as ‘delegates’ of countries as if they were at the United Nations. There will be a number of debating sessions throughout the weekend, where debaters will consider ‘resolutions’ of the United Nations, and decide whether to approve, amend or reject them. Students will be randomly allocated countries a few weeks before State Conference begins, and may research them if they want to – but it’s not required. During the weekend, we work to ‘build up’ Model United Nations debating skills, starting with small debates in ‘committees’ of the United Nations, with the conference culminating in a ‘General Assembly’ debate where all countries come together.
What are the Rules and Procedure for debate?
You can find a copy of the rules and procedure for debate here. At State Conference, before the official debates we will also do a mock debate where you will get to learn about all of the procedure and rules while debating a funny resolution.
I have never participated in Model United Nations debate. Is that an issue?
Absolutely not! The majority of people at these Conferences have never participated in Model United Nations debates before. We will explain everything when students arrive, and as the process is relaxed, students can be as involved as they want to be.
I don’t have a great deal of knowledge about international relations. Is it enough that I am interested?
Students don’t need any pre-existing knowledge. These events are all about learning and sharing opinions. If students are interested in any sort of social, political or environmental issues, they will have fun at these Conferences.