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UQ Young ChangeMakers Program

In December 2021, three of our current Year 12 students travelled to Brisbane to participate in The University of Queensland’s Young ChangeMakers program. Karla, Jordan and Coco were accepted into the program which is a 3-day experience designed for Year 11 students, aimed at developing leadership, critical thinking and innovation skills. As Young ChangeMakers, they undertook an immersive group project to tackle global challenges from different perspectives. Below are their accounts of this experience.

The Young ChangeMakers program was a fantastic opportunity to meet other grade 11 students passionate about change, learn innovative solutions to the biggest challenges the world currently faces and gain inspiration from the incredible guest speakers. This program was also a great opportunity to explore the University of Queensland’s campus and learn more about what they have to offer. YCM was not only educational but enjoyable too, as we participated in many activities from morning bootcamp and yoga to movie nights and a Hawaiian party. Despite the gloomy weather putting a dampener on some of the outdoor activities, our amazing mentors and organisers overcame these challenges to ensure the program was a memorable experience - Jordan

For me the Young Change Makers program was the ideal way to get a thorough understanding of university life without having to live it yet. The mentors of each group were amazing, all specialising in different majors, they were very helpful in providing insight into the difficulty and extensiveness of their degree. The campus itself was very big, however being able to walk around and look inside the buildings that teach the things you’re planning to study in the future, provides an in-depth idea of where you could be sitting in a years’ time. The small seminars they held were also very helpful in outlining what it means to be a ‘change maker’, they gave us small motivational activities to do that put into perspective just how useful university can be. However, these seminars are not trying to force you to join the university but rather contradicted that thought, telling us we can “do whatever we want, the knowledge we need for the future we already have”. After these seminars they held team building exercises and made a group dance to Dynamite by BTS. I would highly recommend this camp to anyone who is interested in meeting new people, having new experiences, and wanting to get an insight into university life through the eyes of its students - Karla

Shortly after the end of the 2021 school year, Karla, Jordan and I travelled to Brisbane for The University of Queensland’s (UQ) Young ChangeMakers program. The program entailed a three-day interactive course and our accommodation was Kings College which was only a short walk from the UQ campus. Eagerly I arrived Tuesday morning where we were assigned a dorm room so that we could experience college life. I loved this aspect of the program as it provided a chance to meet so many other lovely people. On Day 1 we were allocated to groups and given an important worldwide problem that we would work towards solving over the next few days. My group the “Ibis Birds” were given the task of assisting start-up businesses to survive and thrive during a global pandemic. This was a significant challenge and one I thoroughly enjoyed completing with my insightful group. On our last day, all groups had a chance to present their solution with the best one being voted on by other participants to go to the final. During the enthralling final round of presentations, guest judges selected a winner. Not only did we have the opportunity to work together towards solutions, but we heard from amazing guest speakers such as Catherine Clark who is possibly one of the greatest speakers I have ever listened to. During our time at Kings College, we also toured areas of UQ and got a feel for Uni Life. Staying on campus gave us an incredible experience of college life with movie nights and a vibrant tropical party. I highly encourage anyone considering university, especially UQ, to apply for this program as it was an incredible experience I will remember for a long time - Coco



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