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Published on March 19th, 2012

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UN Society

By Emma Manser

Imagine yourself sitting at a long table with one of those cool little desk signs in front of you, reading “Australia”, having a casual chat to UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon about the state of international affairs.

The United Nations Society has more than 80 members from UniSA campuses and they’re always looking for more. And the best part – no knowledge of the UN is necessary.

The Society’s main focus is to provide students with a greater understanding of the UN and its inner workings. UN Society President Alana James says the group is a great opportunity for students to learn about global issues while having lots of fun.

“You meet lots of different people, (it’s) a great experience where you can learn about international issues…and just get a new perspective,” she said.

“In the conferences, you have to follow your country’s viewpoint, so it often means getting out of your comfort zone and advocating something you don’t necessarily believe in.

“Because of this, it uses all those skills you need in debating and discussion.”

You will come away from the experience with much more than just an increased knowledge of the UN. Involvement in the society will also provide students with the opportunity to improve their public speaking and to network with other delegates.

“You learn lots about negotiation and the different ways of making your point, whether it be through conversation, one on one, or trying to convince people in a friendlier circumstance,” Alana said.

“You also improve your research skills. Because you have to stand up and speak for one minute, you really have to hone in on what your central point is. You’re using editing skills, (along with) networking skills and communication skills, while gaining confidence and speaking publically.”

The UN Society runs heaps of events throughout the year for students to participate in, including debates, a quiz night and the annual South Australian Model United Nations Conference (SAMUNC) held annually in September.

If you would like to know more or sign up to the UN Society, visit unilife.edu.au/Clubs.



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