NSW Conference 2013 Report!
State Conference was held over the weekend of the 15th-17th of March. 200 delegates from years 9-12 attended the conference, making it the biggest State Conference held in NSW. The theme for this year’s conference was ‘Our Voice, Our Say’, and boy did our delegates have lots to say!
The delegates enjoyed a number of workshops and speaker sessions, as well as an IPS. We discussed the concepts of power and advocacy and held a spectrum debate on topical issues such as gay marriage and euthanasia. We hosted three terrific speakers at the conference including Brittney Trilford, Dan Ryan and Chris Varney. The speakers were all amazing, successful people, and the delegates very interested in what they had to say. On Saturday night the delegates enjoyed a trivia quiz, and a disco with the theme ‘Into the Wild’. Check out the photos on the UN Youth NSW Facebook page.
Sunday was debate day. The delegates boarded buses to the University of Technology, Sydney, dressed in their finest business attire. We held five different committees, with each committee debating two resolutions. We then moved to our two separate General Assemblies, in which the delegates debated two resolutions, including a surprise resolution, based on a ‘Breaking News Story’.
On the whole, the weekend was a massive success and we could not be happier. The delegates amazed us at every turn with their bubbly personalities, intelligence, and humour, and we are so happy to have met all 200 of you amazing people. Big thanks must go out to all our facilitators who attended and made the conference possible, as well as the welfare team who made the conference enjoyable for all. We are hope to see everyone back again next year!
Love, hugs and all that sparkles, Jodie Cooper and Tash Rubie.
From some of our delegates:
As I embarked on my journey to UN Youth NSW State Conference, I wasn’t entirely sure what to think. Was it all going to be serious nerdy stuff? Or, will we be spending our time partying? As it turns out, the conference was a brilliant combination of the two. I had the opportunity to meet and converse with other like-minded teenagers, debate issues including euthanasia and gay marriage, and attempt to convince the North Korean government to care more for its people than just bombing South Korea.
This year was my first opportunity to MUN (for those who aren’t fluent in UN Youth jargon, it means ‘Model United Nations’ debating). My first chance came on Sunday, when we travelled to UTS and formed our committees. I was in the HRC where I represented Guyana. It was both enlightening and challenging to represent views that may not be your own on issues such as women’s rights and the right to peaceful protest. Then came the big, scary General Assembly in which us smaller nations bonded over mutual ground and took sides in our surprise resolution; should we support China or Japan? All in all, it was an amazing weekend, and I recommend everyone gives it a go next year.
Stephanie Rowell is in Year 11 at Scholastica’s College
After attending the United Nations Youth NSW State Conference in 2012 I had high expectations for the 2013 conference. Amazingly, they were far surpassed by the quality in both the experiences and the people present at the 2013 conference.
State Conference this year was one of the most rewarding intellectual and social experiences I have ever had – with some of the most passionate youth from around Australia, debating topics from gay marriage to positive discrimination.
Due to amazing leadership from the convenors, Jodie and Tash, State Conference again proved that youth have a say, and that we will stand up for what we believe in. It proved to be an excellent opportunity for young people from across NSW to join together and revel in the importance of speaking out, getting our opinions heard, and to once again show that onesies are clearly the best thing to wear to a disco.
Furthermore, the final day of debate proved to be a challenging intellectual experience. Throughout the day we debated issues such as climate change, global disarmament and the East China Sea conflict, all representing our individual countries. With brilliant speaker sessions, entertaining debate and a great atmosphere, NSW State Conference once again proved that we have much to look forward to in our younger generations.
Daniel Hellig-Smith is in grade 10 at Emanuel College.