United Nations Youth Association (UNYA) State Summit 2014
Queensland State Conference is a three day residential conference for students in Years 10-12 held at the start of every year. The focus of the conference is foreign affairs, youth issues, leadership, and social justice.
Queensland State Conference is one of the largest diplomacy and leadership forums in the state, with almost 200 young people attending earlier this month. The 2014 theme was Protecting the People, encouraging students to explore local and international human rights issues including asylum seekers and statelessness, humanitarian crises and foreign aid, and discrimination. The State Conference is an invaluable experience that provides challenges and opportunities not available in the school curriculum, teaching students to think critically about international issues, and the role Australia has to play on the world stage.
On the 7-9 March, 10 students from QAHS went to the United Nations State Conference with the Youth Association. First day, Friday, we arrived early at 8:30am in our mini-van and went into St Laurence’s College. We were allocated into groups and introduced to what was going to happen for the next few days. We met a lot of other delegates from other schools, including the QA Campuses, QASMT and QACI.
In each activity, we represented our country speaking in the third person. We debated controversial topics such as the Question of Nationality, Question of Terrorism, Question of Palestine and the Question of Central African Republic. If we had any troubles, we would find a welfare (welfairy – because they had wings) to help us and everyone took care of each other.
It’s fun to consider the opinions of others and learn about why they feel that way about a certain topic. Although you may not agree, you learn to see from others’ perspective. I would suggest it to all students who are interested in politics and law. You learn more about what is going on around the world and why most conflicts between countries result in war. It’s a great learning experience.
I originally signed up for UNYA because I wanted to try something new. Needless to say, I was pleasantly surprised when I got there. I met so many talented people at the Queensland State Conference and I learned so much about the Model UN and how it’s run. I represented the country of Lithuania and I learnt about how Lithuania always sides with the European countries since it is a part of the European Union.
Many schools from all over Queensland attended the conference. QAHS was well represented, with 10 people attending from our school. Overall, it was an amazing experience, and I look forward to it again next year!
Pictured L-R: Lucy Chen, Jaime D’Cruz, Brandon Hargraves, Alex Miller, Marea Janse Van Rensberg, Naomi Smith, Amy Zhou, Erin Yun, Alex Murray and Grace Yoo.