So on the 6th of November, seven intrepid Tune!FM Volunteers boarded a train, then a plane, and found themselves in Melbourne. It was at that point that I found them.
Ashton, Rae, Kate, Emma, Elizabeth, Olivia, Zoe and I (Claire) were on our way to the Progress 2013 conference, a two day hotbed of social justice activism, inspirational workshops, and good old fashioned fun. Our task at this conference was to connect and network whilst we worked on our specialist radio documentary projects.
With both international and local speakers on a range of topics, we certainly had a broad base from which we could choose. Incredible ideas from people like Tim Costello (World Vision), Jeremy Bird (Obama-Biden Campaign 2008 and 2012), Sam McLean (GetUp!), Sally McManus (Destroy the Joint), Chris Tanti (Headspace), and Missy Higgins were hurriedly written down as we raced between workshops and panels to chat with these notable individuals and hand out contact details. Thankfully, with eight of us, we managed to catch a fairly broad spread of the first day’s events, before heading out to catch Adam Bandt address the conference over drinks. Later that night, we exchanged notes, ideas, and interesting points back at the hostel.
The second day was just as jam-packed. Jane Caro yet again opened proceedings with Scott Ludlum (The Greens), Mark Davis (SBS), Anita Tang (Cancer Council of NSW), Matthew Bowden (People With Disabilities Australia), Anne Hollonds (The Benevolent Society), and Richard Wilkinson (University of Nottingham) all wowing us with their wit, intellect and compassion.
Before the closing of the conference, we were all handed a piece of paper folded into an arrow. On them were the wishes and hopes of school children that we were given to fulfil to the world – an exalting and daunting task; thankfully, the kid who had written mine had said that chocolate and love was what the world needed. With this task in mind, we were then in Dr. Tim Flannery’s hands as he sent us out into the world with our missions, reminding us that despite the odds, we could achieve so much in our time if we had just a little courage.
On behalf of all of the Tunies who attended Progress 2013, we would like to thank Tania Court, Sam Carter, the SSAF committee, and ServicesUNE for giving us the opportunity to have this amazing experience. I know we all learnt something that will stay with us for life.
- Claire Connors