The students were enrolled in a range of diverse studies at the university, such as marine biology research, linking science and traditional knowledge for communities to promote conservation efforts, and advocacy for diversity and social justice in communities.
Coming from Māori or Pasifika backgrounds they were also passionate about finding ways to support those communities in addition to pursuing their studies. They had come together as part of the university’s Pacific Island Leaders of Tomorrow Programme run by Jody Jackson-Becerra.
The discussions ranged from insight into the SDGs and their application both in New Zealand and the Pacific to how young people were communicating ideas such as inequality, wellness and sustainability. It was clear that the success of the SDGs will depend on communicating in a way communities can understand, something that was demonstrated by their use of traditional baskets to promote the SDG icons.