Aspiring diplomats, policy advisors and politicians from high schools across the ACT assembled at the ANU last weekend for the 2019 UN Youth ACT Conference.
We caught up with this year's Co-Convenor Christian Flynn to give us some insight into why the UN Youth ACT Conference is a valuable training ground for these future leaders.
In my experience, UN Youth ACT is one of the most rewarding not-for-profit organisations at ANU. UN Youth aims to engage high school students with the world's biggest issues and get them thinking about, discussing, and tackling these issues. The organisation also hosts events that are a great way to bring people together and help students make friends.
University students volunteer their time to run events for high school students covering a huge range of political, cultural and social topics. These include Model United Nations, guest speakers and public speaking competitions.
I've always been into politics, but I wanted to do more than read the news and have the occasional discussion. Everyone is passionate about something, and UN Youth is a great environment for you to discuss and pursue that interest with other people often just as passionate as you are.
UN Youth has given me some of my closest friends, and I believe that it makes a difference not just by connecting people and forging friendships, but also by preparing a new generation for the biggest issues of our era. Whenever I participate in UN Youth, I feel like I am the one making that difference, and that in a world that is confusing, uncertain and at times discouraging I can not only enact change, but that change is also positive. I've never stopped learning at a UN Youth event, and I think the more we discuss the big issues the closer we get to the solutions we need.
By Christian Flynn - ACT Conference 2019 Co-Convenor.
Christian is in his second year of a Bachelor of Arts/Bachelor of Laws (majoring in history). He has been a member of UN Youth ACT for five years.