Story and Photo by Cloe Willetts, Kapiti News, Wednesday April 13, 2016
Paraparaumu College student Harriet Charters has been selected as one of 10 New Zealand young people to represent the country in Australia this July, as part of the Australian National United Nations Youth conference.
The year 13 student and college Community Captain will spend one week on a study tour in Brisbane, from July 1, where she will engage in various workshops and debate pressing world issues.
From there, she will travel to Samoa for a week and learn about sustainable development, while providing hands-on aid work and picking up Samoan culture in vulnerable communities.
On her return to Wellington, the Waikanae resident will spend a day in the city speaking with diplomats and foreign trade policy officers, who represent New Zealand at the UN.
Having attended a variety of national UN Youth events over the past couple of years, including a recent debate about climate change refugees where she represented Singapore, Harriet said her overseas learning venture will be a new experience.
“I enjoy being a part of these events and meeting new people who have the same interests as me.” she said.
“There’s also a bit of friendly debate where you learn a few things and take on things from a different perspective, which is interesting.”
Planning to study International Relations and Development Studies when she graduates from college at the end of the year, Harriet hopes to eventually merge into a career in diplomacy.
“It’s quite a hard field to navigate, but I’ll see how I go.”
She said to excel in the field and really get your point across, speakers need to be straight up and not hide behind facts.
“You need to know your stuff and really try and represent what you’re saying and obviously, if you believe in what you’re saying, it’s going to be a lot easier. You have to take it wholeheartedly.”
To help cover the $4500 needed to travel overseas for the tour, Harriet has set up a Pacific Project Givealittle page, which can be found at http://givealittle.co.nz/cause/harrietcharterspacificproject2016
Read more about the United Nations Pacific Project,