News Centre

Katrina Chan to Represent New Zealand at UN Youth Conference


Passionate, ambitious and dedicated, Katrina Chan is among 9 New Zealanders carefully selected to participate in a 2-week UN Youth Pacific Project in the July holidays. The project aims to educate students on New Zealand’s relationship with the Pacific and an aspect of this includes Katrina and 8 other high school students attending the UN Youth Australia National Conference held in Adelaide, Australia.


At the conference, Year 12 student at Sancta Maria College, Katrina Chan, will have the opportunity to be engaged in discussions revolving around international and local issues as well as the possible solutions. The theme for the 2018 Conference is ‘The Future of Democracy’ and attendees will be encouraged to explore this theme by critically examining current global democratic institutions and if there is any way to improve them.


For further development on appreciating their own culture and communities in New Zealand as well as that of others, Katrina and the other chosen students will travel to Vanuatu. There, the selected students will have the opportunity to participate in community projects and discover differences and similarities between Vanuatu and New Zealand.


When asked about how she discovered this opportunity, Katrina recalls, “I found about the event by following the UN Youth New Zealand page on Facebook. I’ve always been interested in what they do and when I saw that applications where open for the Pacific Project, I wanted to apply because I’ve always had a passion for the environment since I was little. However, last year, I got interested in participating in more leadership events and politics as I wanted to have a bigger role in issues to make a difference in society.”


The process for being selected for the Pacific Project began with an online formal written application. If you passed the written application, a video call interview was next. Then lastly, an email that confirmed whether you were selected.


When Katrina received the email detailing that she was successful in her application, she was ecstatic yet surprised, “I was really happy because I didn’t think I was going to get in. I know there are other people out there who are more deserving to go on this trip and I feel extremely lucky to have been accepted.”


However, Katrina realises that her accomplishments so far have not been done alone. She has had a wide network of support that has been encouraging her to do what she is passionate about, “I would like to thank my friends and my family for always being there to support me. I would like to especially thank Mrs McCreath. She was the reason I got involved in all of this and have the opportunity to have a bigger role in our society.”


Katrina hopes that, through participating in this event, she will have gained important skills that she can apply to our community, “The conclusion of the Pacific Project will mean I have a more well-rounded perspective on global issues and ways to tackle problems based on this perspective. I believe this rare trip will also help me be a better person to my peers, my family and all those around me. I believe this trip will help me be more open and understanding of the wide spectrum of human personalities and be there to help others realise their dreams and aspirations and feel they always have someone supporting them.”

Zoe Chou