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Eight Year 10 students were powerfully inspired by the World Vision Conference 2017 at the International Convention Centre, Darling Harbour on 13 June. Held annually in Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane, the conference aimed to broaden horizons about current issues and how to do act on them. It also outlined this year’s 40-hour famine project and how Wenona could run its own.
Lauren said students took part in fun experiments and games which helped them make decisions about thought-provoking theoretical situations ranging from a trip up Mount Everest to contemplating what it would be like to be a child fleeing Syria.
“The conference gave me inspiration and tools to make a change in my community and on a broader scale,” said Lauren. “It also provided me with skills to run the 40hr famine program this year, something I hope everyone will get behind.”
Britta found the leadership activities tested the girls’ humanity and leadership as individuals.
“The most inspiring and engaging guest speakers encouraged us to realise we have a ‘choice’ and that this is our power,” she said.
One of the highlights for Grace was hearing stories from people who have created organisations to help those less fortunate.
“Two of these stories were from people who had fled their home country, come to Australia as refugees – and yet are helping people who are even less fortunate,“ Grace said.
The girls profoundly felt the impact of addresses by speakers including:-
- Thenu Herath, the young co-founder of Taboo, a business selling female sanitary products which helps disadvantaged women with both hygiene and education
- Justine Flynn, co-founder of Thankyou, which commits proceeds to sanitation, food, water and other essentials. Justine told students ‘Impossible is not a fact, but an opinion’
- Abe Nouk, a refugee turned writer who told the conference ’kindness takes courage’, and they should realise they are the leaders of the future
- Deng Adut, former child soldier, Sudanese refugee, now lawyer and an Australian of the Year, told the conference that the number of displaced people worldwide is now greater than ever before and emphasised students’ potential to influence older generations about war
The conference was very interactive, with the audience constantly involved.
“Conference hosts wanted to hear what we had to say and made sure any questions we had were answered by speakers,” said Grace.
“It was an amazing opportunity which I do not take for granted,” said Laruen, “The day was inspirational and I’m sure all the girls would agree that that it opened our eyes to many injustices and gave us the courage to make a change, relating to this year’s prefects’ initiative of ‘Be a game changer’ ”.
For more information, please visit www.40hourfamine.com.au/