I’m Jack Preller, a Year 12 student who had the privilege, during the holidays, to attend the 2023, Model UN Youth National Conference in Perth. The National Conference was composed of workshops, debates, interactive problem solving and esteemed speakers to help us learn more about the globalised world. The conference provided me with an opportunity to speak to over 60 different delegates from Years 9-12, who were leaders in their local communities/schools in their respective states, and enabled me to gain a more diversified perspective of youth in Australia.
From this experience I learnt a couple of key things that I would like to share with you. Firstly, that there are always people out there that share your passions. For me that is helping others through mediums such as tutoring, but no matter what passion you have, there are people who are willing to join you in achieving your dreams.
Secondly, I learnt about the sheer number of opportunities Australia has for students in working on key societal issues, public speaking and debating through organisations such as UN Youth, OakTree and Youth Parliament. If you are in Years 9-12 and you want to get involved, you can go to these different events such as the NSW State Conference to improve your debating and public speaking skills, as well as making friends with like-minded individuals. Many of these events are not commonly advertised, so I recommend researching different opportunities if you are interested.
During the Perth UN Youth National Conference we had the privilege of debating in Western Australia’s Parliament House on resolutions including ‘the right to education in the globalised world’ and ‘the global scope of migration.’ This allowed me to understand the complexities of world issues, with countries’ economic, social and geographical situations influencing policy decisions and their vote on world issues. The debates also gave me the opportunity to refine my impromptu speaking, having to create speeches on the spot or through responding to a number of questions on specific issues.
In addition, we had the opportunity to ask questions about Australian issues with the Australian Youth Representative to the United Nations, Imogen Kane. Imogen will be reporting these discussions later this year directly with the UN in New York, showing how events like Youth UN can allow you to have global impacts. I also had the opportunity to create a presentation on the SDG goal I care for most – quality education. Alongside two others, I created a satire on the educational curriculum which we also got to submit directly to the UN branch in Australia to be reviewed, highlighting how young people today can make a difference, today.
You may be asking how I got invited to this conference in Perth? I got invited to this UN Youth conference by engaging in a number of local and state-level Youth UN events which anybody from Waverley can sign up to from Years 9-12. For anyone who is interested in global politics, public speaking, debating or just making a difference to Australia and the wider world, I would highly recommend going to UN Youth events and potentially being invited to national and international events.