Model United Nations – Canberra

St Margaret’s and Berwick Grammar School Year 10 students, Yebin Yang and Max Walton Briggs, spent four days in Canberra to take part in the Rotary National Model United Nations Assembly (MUNA). This event requires students to debate in a mock United Nations General Assembly, where they oppose or support resolutions and argue in defence of their national interest before the world stage.

These students were immersed in an eclectic political experience, beginning with a visit to Parliament House to watch Question Time. They then met their local member, Mr Jason Wood, who chatted with them about the Australian political system and wished them luck for their upcoming debates.

Later they were introduced to the Consulate-General at the South Korean Embassy, who kindly donated his time to explain South Korea’s position on a range of global political issues.

At a formal dinner, they heard from Ms Catherine Stubberfield, the United Nations High Commisioner for Refugees Representation in Canberra, who shared insights into Australia’s historical attitudes towards refugees and displaced persons in the global community.

Fuelled by these political insights, they participated in the MUNA. This event was held at the Australian Museum of Democracy at Old Parliament House. Debate stretched out over two days and covered a range of resolutions affecting the global community, including global conflict, nuclear proliferation, migration and climate change.

As one of only two Victorian teams represented at the event, in competition with 19 other schools from across Australia, Max and Yebin walked away very successful, having achieved 6th place overall and also being awarded the highly prestigious Totenhofer Peace Prize. This prize is a perpetual trophy, presented each year to the delegation participating in MUNA that makes the best contribution to promoting world peace within the assembly.

The students involved are to be commended on the incredible amount of work that they put into, and the spirit of cooperation they showed to achieve such an outstanding result.

Mr Sean Pieper