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WonTok youth conference tours to Melbourne

Conference engages students' heads, hearts and hands in global issues.

Students take part in the WonTok youth conference at Brighton Grammar School.

June 5 2016The Anglican Board of Mission has partnered with UnitingWorld to host the 2016 One World WonTok youth conference which toured Australia over two weeks in May and visited school students in Melbourne.

The conference engages high school students with the big issues in global development, with a focus this year on the new international push to eradicate extreme poverty via the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals and how climate change is affecting progress towards the goals.

Special guest the Revd James Bhagwan from the Methodist Church in Fiji spoke about his unique experience working in community development and how the increase in extreme weather events like Severe Tropical Cyclone Winston in February highlight the need for a sustained global response to climate change.

“Educating the next generation about the Sustainable Development Goals is essential because they will be the ones to continue this work, and their children will be affected if we don’t meet the targets in 2030,” said Mr Bhagwan.

“WonTok engages their head, their heart and their hands — and that is what will keep them switched on about what’s going on in the wider world.”

The conference featured interactive workshops that familiarised students with the Sustainable Development Goals and explored the issues of global citizenship, gender inequality, poverty and the interconnectedness of these issues that threaten our world.

WonTok aims to give practical knowledge and information to students about how to engage as global citizens, and how they can connect with the majority world in powerful ways.

The One World WonTok conference runs on the Gold Coast and in Brisbane, Perth, Adelaide, Melbourne and Sydney each year.