NT Delegation to UN Youth Evatt National Finals
Three Darwin High School teams took out first, second and third places in the Evatt NT competition which is run across all Darwin Senior Schools. The Evatt Trophy is the Territory round of Australia’s largest and premier debating and diplomacy competition.
The competition takes the form of mock sessions of the UN Security Council. Teams of two students from Years 10-12 debate, amend, and vote on a prepared resolution from the perspective of a Member State of the Security Council. The top two teams will represent their school and the NT at the National Finals in Canberra in December.
Evatt places the students in the UN Security Council as representatives of a nation. They debate on issues of international security, human rights and current affairs and come to a solution.
The following Darwin High School students represented their countries in the competition:
Pictured below are Kailey Coble & Isabelle Chin Quan representing Egypt and Ava Wilmore & Kim Stevens representing the Russian Federation
Pictured below are Andrew Northcote & Ashane Altendorff representing Japan and Aidan Fong & Runda Li representing Kazakhstan
Pictured below are Samuel Roussos & Alex Kurien representing New Zealand and Joel Keith & Lachlan Anderson representing Senegal
Pictured below are Lotus Kelly & Lithira Abeysinghe representing France and Matthew Shaw & Emma Stevens representing Sweden
Jack Whitehead & Maya Picton represented Switzerland and Evan Keith & Nisangi Wijesinghe represented Ethiopia.
Sam and Alex took first place, Ava and Kim were second and Isabelle and Kailey were third, outstanding results for the students and for the School.
Below are extracts from Sam’s, Alex’s and Kim’s impressions of their experience:
The Evatt competition is something I have never experienced before. It combines skills such as debating, negation and diplomacy to create an extremely enjoyable day, and it is quite similar to a board game in the sense that there are large amounts of strategy involved. Myself and Alex, my partner, were allocated to represent New Zealand. The organisers emphasised the need for teamwork, and you don’t realise the truth behind this until you begin. The teamwork comes from the ability to have two different goals; for example I did most of the speaking, while Alex undertook the treacherous task of negotiating with other countries. This, for me, was perhaps the most rewarding part of the day; it was really nice to be able to get up and speak about an amendment we had suggested, and then have Alex scurry away to try get people to vote with us. Then when your amendment would pass during the final vote, it was an exhilarating feeling knowing you persuaded such a large group of people. It was a fantastic day that I thoroughly enjoyed, and would definitely do again.
The Evatt UN Youth competition was a great opportunity for me to engage in discussion about real world issues. Not only did it increase my understanding of them but it also increased my public speaking skills and confidence. An important skill learnt from this competition was the importance of team work and understanding our strengths and weaknesses. My main focus was negotiating with other teams and promoting amendments whereas my team mate, who is better at speaking, focused on promoting resolutions to the Security Council. Overall, I had a great time at the competition and look forward to next year’s competition. Also, the free pizza made it better.
Ava and I had stayed awake until the very early hours of the morning of Evatt trying to familiarise ourselves with the process. We must have looked horrifying when we arrived moaning from tiredness, shaking awfully from nerves at the same time. If you can imagine two twitchy zombies, we were that! Participating in Evatt has helped me appreciate the complexity of relationships and problem-solving and how these are important factors in developing solutions which can be applied to any situation. Thanks to the professional conduct of the faculty and fellow delegates, with help from a list of Vladimir Putin quotes we kept handy, Ava and I were inspired to perform at our best.
Good luck to the two winning teams in December when they represent the Northern Territory at the national Evatt Trophy!