UNIC Canberra joined the regional New South Wales town of Cowra in commending twelve high school students for their community spirit and volunteerism as youth ambassadors for the Cowra Festival of International Understanding at an evening reception on the 9th of March.
UNIC Canberra Director, Mr Christopher Woodthorpe spoke at the event about the potential the youth ambassadors showed through the program for great things in the future.
Mr Woodthorpe quoted a UN colleague who grew up in a regional Australian town similar to Cowra.
“Something that I really appreciate about the UN is that someone like me, a penniless kid from Emerald in regional Queensland can do some of the things he gets to do! Still a decade after joining, I regularily pinch myself”.
Cowra Mayor, Mr Bill West congratulated the youth ambassadors on their fundraising efforts for the charities the Cancer Council, Headspace, Médecins Sans Frontières, House with no Steps, Cowra Rotary Club, PCYC, Rural Fire Service and Cowra Community Chest.
Each youth ambassador was nominated by a community organisation for the annual program that has evolved overtime from the original Festival Princess competition of the 1950s.
The program also involved a visit to the UNIC Canberra office in February where the students learnt about the work of the United Nations and how they could get their community involved.
Returning to their community the youth ambassadors encouraged their classmates, family and friends to participate in the My World survey and contribute to the development of the post-2015 development agenda.
Many of the youth ambassadors spoke at the reception about how much they felt they learnt about the international organisation through the program and how everyone can contribute to combating global issues.