International Youth Leaders' Conference 2012

The aim of JISLC 2012 was to encourage student leaders from schools (age 13-18) throughout Asia and beyond to meet and exchange ideas, views, initiatives and visions on an international platform; engaging in a cross-cultural learning environment.

This year’s theme brought together the viewpoints and proposals of student leaders all over the world on the very critical issue of sustainable development that may determine the future of the generations to come. The United Nations 2005 World Summit Outcome Document refers to three reinforcing pillars that form the underpinnings of sustainable development which are
  1. economic development
  2. social development
  3. environment protection.

The Universal Declaration on Cultural Diversity (UNESCO, 2001) further elaborates the concept by stating that
  • "...cultural diversity is as necessary for humankind as biodiversity is for nature”; it becomes “one of the roots of development understood not simply in terms of economic growth, but also as a means to achieve a more satisfactory intellectual, emotional, moral and spiritual existence".

In this vision, cultural diversity is the fourth policy area of sustainable development. The essence of sustainability can also be found in the Earth Charter that clearly encapsulates the values and principles that override all forms of reckless development of any nation.

Indeed, student leaders in schools today have a big role to play in bringing about the awareness and deep understanding of sustainable development. They can be a community’s focal points for deepening the integration and development process through advocacy and peer education initiatives. The voice of student leaders has been recognized as significant and vital in the process of seeking solutions because the decisions made now will have an effect on the decisions of the future leaders.

Sam Montague and Hannah Van Eekelen from Maffra Secondary College attended the 2011 Conference and detailed their experiences at the
2011 Johore International Student Leaders Conference blog blog.

Students' reflections from the 2012 Conference

Toni Smith from Wallan Secondary College DSCN0643.JPG
  • "A few weeks ago I was selected represent my school, and my country at a leadership conference in Johor, Malaysia. This amazing experience is one i will never forget. As I learn't many things, not only about my self but about Malaysia and sustainable development. We all had the opportunity to present a paper, mine was on Sustainable development in the growing community of Wallan, Victoria, Australia. I had never spoke to a large group of people before and was quite nervous, but once I started my presenting my speech I really enjoyed it. I really enjoyed the conference and it was really good to see my friends that I met at the student leadership camp at the Marlo campus again. It was good to see how they had grown as leaders and as people and to be honest they exceeded well over my expectations.

  • We also had the opportunity to teach the other delegates how to do the nut-bush dance on the cultural night. Everyone had a good go and there were smiles everywhere I looked. From all the wonderful experiences we had in Malaysia my favorites would have been the boat cruse along the river that separates Malaysia from Singapore and reaching the southernmost point of mainland Asia.

  • I would like to thank my parents, Mr Ring, The Johor education department and the Victorian education department for allowing the other Australian delegates and myself to have this wonderful opportunity."

Josh Finley from Rosebud Secondary College
  • "The recent trip to the ‘Johor International Student Leadership Conference’ is an experience that I will never forget. Though I knew the time that I would spend in Malaysia would be amazing, I seriously underestimated how much of a good time I would have. The level of professionalism of the Johor Student Leadership Council was astounding, and they really made a great effort to make us feel welcome while we stayed in Malaysia. I have previously been to the adjoining student leadership camp at the Snowy River Campus in Marlo, and the ties that I gained from that time crossed over into the conference in Malaysia. It was great fun to meet again with old friends from the camp in Marlo, and meet some new ones at the conference.

  • There was a great feeling of inclusion and collaboration, and that made the whole experience a much more pleasant one. Our visit to a local school and the southernmost tip of Asia was a great day for the Australian students. I have very fond memories of relaxing on the jetty which looked out to the Strait of Malacca and walking through the beautiful mangroves.

  • All in all, I had the most incredible time in Malaysia. I’ll remember my stay there, and hope that international delegation meetings can occur for many others in the future."

Jasmine Gonzalez from Fountain Gate Secondary College
  • "A once in a lifetime opportunity came up for me just a few weeks ago to represent not only my school; Fountain Gate Secondary College but also Australia, over in Johor, Malaysia at an International Student Leaders Conference. It was an experience I will never forget, attending an International Leaders Conference on Sustainable Development. It taught me so much about the environment around us and the differences between countries. From this experience I have grown as a student but more importantly as a leader and I will always be thankful for that.

  • I presented at the conference on what sustainable development meant to me. All the Australian delegates were part of a Model UN conference talking about problems within each country at the moment, Australia’s being teacher’s rights and pay. The 5 Australian delegates were taken to the Southern Most Tip of Mainland Asia, which was something I will remember forever, we visited a school in Malaysia which not every leader gets to experience, seeing the difference between Australian and Malaysian schools, met the Prince of Johor and we had a wonderful River Cruise along the river which separates Malaysia and Singapore.

  • I have made life-long friends with the 4 other Australian Delegates and Malaysian students too. The Johor Students Leaders Council members did an amazing job and should all be very proud of themselves.

I took back with me the confidence to achieve anything I put my mind to and a whole new understanding of a different religion and the beauty within it. It is an experience and opportunity I will treasure forever and a story I will never stop telling!!!"

Model UN Conferences

Model UN Conferences are organised in conjunction with the UNAA Victoria, a non-profit, non-government community organisation working to promote the aims and ideals of the United Nations. The UNAA provides teachers with close support and assistance from the initial stages of deciding upon a conference topic to the provision of a Delegate pack which students use to prepare themselves for the day.

There have been many successful conferences held previously, check out our page on them.