Townsville Youth Unite to Resolve United Nations Sustainability Goals
Updated: Dec 1, 2021
Pictured above: Local high school students attend Youth Response conference. Photo courtesy Kiruthika Sornamoorthy
For the past year, 30 students from Pimlico High School have been organising YOUTH RESPONSE – a youth conference for and by young people.
Prior to Covid, many of the students had been involved in United Nations conference around the world visiting Mauritius, Singapore and New York.
The students saw the potential for an International Conference based in a world heritage area on the Great Barrier Reef and in Townsville. Pimlico State High School supported their vision and dedicated a Grade 11 class to coordinate the conference.
The students have adapted to the changing conditions and will host a live conference for more than 400 Townsville Students and a Virtual Conference which will be lived streamed for students from Singapore, Mumbai and Port Louis in Mauritius.
From the 1st of to the 3rd of December a conference will be held at James Cook University which brings together High School students from Townsville State High School, Kirwan State High School, Northern Beaches State High School and Pimlico State High School.
On the Thursday the 2nd of December Grades 4 and 5 Primary school students will join the conference and participate in activities leading to the creation of Sustainability Development Goals solutions.
“ We are going to be the ones to create change and do something about the situation of the planet” , said 16 year old Nicola Perry. “ The conference gives us ways to start locally and go global with creating ways to address the situation of the planet”, said Ms Perry. “ This is not just about the environment it’s about the people we can help and lives we can change who are less fortunate than us”, stated Grade 11 student Kiruthika Sornamoorthy.
There are 17 United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. They include major global objectives like: Zero Hunger, Quality Education for all; Gender Equality ; Clean Water and Sanitation ; Decent work and Economic Growth ; Life on Land ; Life Below the Water and 8 more equally important goals.
“ You have to at least have a plan”, Kiruthika said. “Studying these goals and discussing them at the conference and then having the ability to create projects that focus on real problems locally that students groups can fix, is a step toward achieving these goals globally”, she said.
Ten, $1000 grants will be given to 10 selected projects at the conference. Students will work in groups for one day to design projects that address a Sustainability Goal chosen by their school group.
These will then be presented or “sold” to the full conference delegates and a judging panel will select the 10 best projects to be granted the $1000 each.
Spokesperson Mia Forrest said that “ it’s been a great opportunity to create our own conference, we have a voice about our futures and we want it to be heard. This is one way to achieve that”.
Pictured above: Some of the presenters at the Youth Response conference. Photo courtesy Kiruthika Sornamoorthy.