A NSW teenager has knocked back an opportunity of a lifetime to attend a Commonwealth youth forum because it conflicts with his personal philosophy.
Joseph Neve, a Catholic from the mid-north coast, who designed a special NSW 20 cent coin for the Centenary of Federation, was invited to be part of the Australian Government’s Commonwealth Youth Forum which will coincide with the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in Brisbane.
Joseph, 17, said while he was honoured to be considered, it would be hypocritical to attend when he was a pro-republic supporter.
‘I could say my exams were more important, but really I think we should move away from our ties with the Queen and become our own country.
‘I don’t believe in the aspects of which we were to view our future at the conference, so I guess you could say my personal philosophies are different from those of CHOGM.’
The Australian Government, through the Department of Education Training and Youth Affairs (DETYA), is hosting the forum on the Gold Coast from September 30-October 8.
Regan Watts from DETYA said it would provide an opportunity for 150 young men and women aged from 18-25 to share their vision and concerns and to develop their capacity to contribute to the Commonwealth in the 21st century.
He said one male and one female from each of the 51 participating Commonwealth countries plus 30 Australian delegates would attend.
Mr Watts said the theme for the forum was ‘Youth Participation in the Commonwealth’ and delegates would be involved in panel sessions discussing tropics from youth enterprise to social development.
He said the Australian delegates would come from the National Indigenous Youth Leadership Group and from each of the three previous National Youth Roundtables.
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