Somerset Times

Somerset Attends World Vision Youth Conference




Somerset Times Edition

Week 7, Term Two, 2018

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Senior School Impact Committee students Thomas Dawson, Isabella Seymour, Kobee Munro and Vivian Song attended the World Vision Youth Conference addressing the Global Refugee Crisis, Wednesday 23 May. We represented Vanuatu and on completion were left with an understanding of the severity and frustration that comes with making bigger decisions.

Upon our arrival, we were surrounded by around 200 similar minded students at the Sleeman Sports Complex in Brisbane. The conference was divided into three different sessions, each with an aim to expand our leadership skills and awareness. In the first session, our skills were tested in a stimulation called The Vote. During this stimulation, each school represented a different country and was responsible to make the best decision for their country’s circumstances, when asked different questions relating to the possible world crisis. Representing Vanuatu taught us that there are always many solutions to a complex problem, and there is one simple solution.

Following a short break, we heard from three amazing people, all refugees who had managed to successfully flee their home country (Afghanistan, Syria or Sri Lanka). These speakers spoke from the heart about what life was like as a refugee; from being raised in male driven communities to establishing their footing in their newfound Australian community.

We were also faced with some very confronting facts relating to the current refugee crisis. Did you know there are 63 million refugees worldwide; 55 per cent of whom come from three countries: Afghanistan, South Sudan and Syria. Sadly, we could not believe 50 per cent of refugees worldwide are children and 20 people are displaced each minute. This was discomforting to hear and sparked motivation for change within the 200 strong gathering.

In our final session, we were equipped with the skills and ideas to return to Somerset to conduct the 40 Hour Famine Backpack Challenge, next term. World Vision’s aim is to unite with thousands of Australians nationwide, in order to raise funds and awareness about the millions of refugees across the globe.

Our trip up the M1 allowed us to learn the importance of leadership, how young people have a strong voice and how we can all stand up for what we believe in. Therefore, we look forward to co-ordinating the Backpack Challenge in Term Three to champion the cause, improve the lives of others and make a difference in the world. We hope you can join us!

For more information relating to World Vision, please visit

For more information about the 40 Hour Famine Backpack Challenge, please visit

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