04 April 2016 Charlie, Jay and Dimitri   | News | Extra-Curricular  
Hits: 34204

On the 11th – 13th of March, the annual UN Youth State Conference for 2016 was held at the Collaroy centre. There were close to 200 delegates from a wide variety of schools across New South Wales. From this 200, there were around 20 students from both Homebush Boys High and Strathfield Girls High attending this conference.

We arrived around 5:00pm at the Collaroy centre on the 11th where we were greeted by the facilitators, who were always helpful and kind, throughout the whole conference. The first day was mostly about getting to know one another, and we played a variety of get-to-know-you games. On the second day, we took part in three separate workshops that covered a variety of issues, with the focus being gender perspectives. These workshops offered a unique insight into issues that we don’t usually cover at school. Of particular enjoyment, was the IPS scenario, where you take part in a mock diplomatic crisis. For many, this was the highlight of the conference as it challenged us and put us in a diplomatic conflict. We ended the day, with a trivia and disco night, which we all enjoyed.

On the final day, we were taken to the University of Sydney, to take part in a made up UN debate. Each delegate, represented their own nation, which they had to speak and make decisions on their behalf. The debates were categorised by the committee you chose prior to the conference. For example, the World Health Organisation dealt with issues such as providing available health care to developing countries. At 5 p.m., we all went home with new skills and met new friends.

The conference challenges students to think in a different way than they usually would and look at issues in a new light. The conference aims to teach you awareness of issues so you are prepared for, if one should occur - a crisis situation or an uprising of a certain policy or rule. This was an amazing experience for all delegates involved and it is something all students from years 9-12 should consider to take part in next year.