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Commonwealth Youth Forum: "Making a change for the better”
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Commonwealth Youth Forum: "Making a change for the better”

Amanda McClintockYoung people from around the globe are in Fremantle on the west coast of Australia this week to take part in the Commonwealth Youth Forum.

Amanda McClintock, 19, a Commonwealth Correspondent from Queensland reporting on the summit, recounts how friendships are already forming and debates are raging on everything from property issues in the Cook Islands to the delights of pickles in cheeseburgers.

I think chaos is probably the only word to describe the events unfolding at the Fremantle Esplanade Hotel right now.

There are youth delegates with suitcases and confused expressions wandering all around as they wait for rooms to be available and the registration desk to open. There are people running around taking photos and the hotel staff are starting to get a little flustered since the rooms were meant to be ready by now and people are still waiting.

The line for registration is just getting longer so it looks like the best bet is to just wait it out rather than fight the crowds. Approximately 135 young people from across the Commonwealth are descending on Fremantle for the next five days to discuss the issues that are pressing to young people today.

Having met several people already (and already forgetting some names), it looks like there are going to be some interesting discussions over the course of the week. The shuttle bus from the airport had debates spanning from the property title issues in the Cook Islands to whether or not people prefer their cheeseburgers with or without the pickle.

There are people from everywhere. I met one girl who works for the PCYC in Queensland and another guy who does health advisory work for the Government in Sydney. Now all that is left is for chaos to die down and the agenda for the forum to begin, starting with a City of Fremantle Community event this afternoon.

I am interested to see the ideas and opinions that come out of this week. With such a diverse range of people from all across the Commonwealth, it will be remarkable to see the different opinions that people have on what issues are important to young people today.

One of the greatest things about sitting and just observing everybody is seeing the friendships and relationships that are forming between these people who all lead such different lives but are being brought together by the shared interest in standing up and making a change for the better.

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About me:

“I am a working-class girl, full-time university student and mental health advocate from sunny south-east Queensland.

“Living in a small country town after growing up in the city only increased my passion for making a difference in my community and further afield, and for speaking up about the issues that matter most. Youth have a voice and it needs to be heard. Stand Up, Speak Up and Be Heard!”

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Opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of the Commonwealth Youth Programme. Articles are published in a spirit of dialogue, respect and understanding. If you disagree, why not submit a response?

To learn more about becoming a Commonwealth Correspondent please visit: http://www.yourcommonwealth.org/submit-articles/commonwealthcorrespondents/

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