United Nations Youth Australia

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UN Youth Australia Ltd.
United Nations Youth Australia logo.png
Motto Opening young eyes to the world
Formation 1970
Type Private company limited by guarantee
Headquarters Canberra, Australian Capital Territory, Australia
Tim Matthews
Main organ
National Council
Affiliations World Federation of United Nations Associations, United Nations Association of Australia
Website www.unyouth.org.au

UN Youth Australia (formerly the United Nations Youth Association of Australia, UNYA) is a national youth-led charity that aims to build the people’s movement for the United Nations through the education and empowerment of young Australians. Operated by volunteers ages 24 and under, it is part of the global network of United Nations Youth Associations.


UN Youth Australia is a national federal organisation overseen by a National Executive, with regional divisions in each State and Territory overseen by independent divisional executives. Divisions meet twice a year with the National Executive in sessions of National Council. Each division is run independently of each other, and collaborate to undertake national events and programs, such as the UN Youth National Conference and the National Finals of the Evatt Competition.


UN Youth Australia seeks to promote the ideals and the work of the United Nations. While these aims are similar to that of conventional United Nations Associations in advocating the United Nations Charter and educating young people about the structure and functions of the United Nations, the organisation also seeks to provide young Australians with a global education that gives them a deep knowledge of the social and political problems confronting the world and the skills to address them.


UN Youth Australia holds two annual national events: the UN Youth National Conference and the National Finals of the Evatt Competition, a UN Security Council Competition, named after Dr H.V. Evatt. Participants in these conferences are students in Years 9-12 from secondary schools across Australia. Both conferences are held in Australian capital cities designated on a rotational system.[1]

In addition to domestic conferences, UN Youth Australia also operates four international tours. Each year in January, a delegation of tertiary students tours the United States, meeting US and UN officials in Washington, D.C. and New York and culminating in attendance at the Harvard National Model UN. Also in January, UN Youth Australia sends a delegation of secondary school students to THIMUN, the largest Model UN conference in the world, as well as visiting the United Nations Office at Geneva as part of a European tour focusing on international relations, modern history, and organisations in Europe relevant to global politics.

In July UN Youth Australia runs the Pacific Project which, in partnership with Destination Dreaming, arranges for secondary school students to visit development projects, meet diplomats, see NGO operations first hand, and have a chance to experience life in East Timor. Also in July, the organisation sends a delegation of secondary school students on the Aotearoa Leadership Tour which promotes interculturalism and engagement between indigenous and non-indigenous young Australians through a tour of New Zealand focusing on Māori culture and Maori-Pākehā relations, organised in close collaboration with UN Youth New Zealand.

UN Youth Australia also has a significant regional focus, and runs a number of events in regional locations, including the annual UN Youth Regional Youth Summit held in Albury, New South Wales. Significant conferences typically take the form of a youth summit combining educational workshops, speakers, issue-based discussion, policy drafting, and model United Nations debate similar in format to a Model United Nations conference.

Divisions of UN Youth Australia also coordinate events in their State or Territory, such as annual State Conferences and divisional rounds of the Evatt Competition, educative school visits and speakers forums.

Australian Youth Representative to the United Nations[edit]

Each year since 1999, UN Youth Australia works with the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade to select and support a Youth Representative to the United Nations General Assembly. The Youth Representative holds an extensive, nationwide consultation tour to engage with and discover the issues that are most important to young Australians, and travels to New York as an accredited member of the Australian Mission to represent Australian youth at the United Nations.

External links[edit]


  1. ^ "The Evatt Competition". UN Youth Australia. Retrieved 1 February 2014.