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IN A society scattered with new Australians, it seemed fitting for Hampton Park Secondary College students to debate a topic so close to home; refugees.
Students from five different schools across the state took up the Model UN debating challenge on Friday 26 August.
Eighty students from Year 7 to 12 made up teams, as small as two people, to represent all the countries of the world.
The teams then debated the global issue of: ‘Refugees: A Humanitarian Crisis’ from the stance of the country they represented.
Some students said they learnt more about politics than they had bargained for.
Hampton Park Secondary College, Year 10 student Allison MacCuaig said the debate was a great insight into politics, a subject her school was yet to offer.
“There was a lot of different perspectives that you must take on from different countries – it was interesting to look at it from Syria’s point of view,” Alison said.
The students discussed economics, population, infrastructure and political reasoning as to why certain countries couldn’t take on more refugees and why that wouldn’t be sustainable.
Students then debated other ways countries could provide help, such as financial aid.
Some students even formed a newfound sympathy for world leaders.
Hampton Park Secondary College teacher, Anna Carrig, a former UN youth volunteer said the event developed more than just cleaner debating skills.
“It allowed students to learn and to develop an authentic and deep understanding of why in the current global climate a forum for collaboration between nations is so crucial,” Ms Carrig said.
“In a closing speech on the day the acting Secretary-General, the UNAA Victorian division’s Vice-President Ian Howie, spoke to the students about the significance of the purposes of the UN – to bring countries together to discuss and combat the most urgent global issues facing the world today.”
A FEW of Team Cancure’s beloved members have been lost in the past decade, as has the original team name, but its unbowed walkers won’t stop raising money to “kick cancer’s butt”.
The group is donating more than $8600 to melanoma research from funds raised during its relentless efforts in the City of Casey 24-hour Relay for Life event in March.
Team captain Donna Deken said the group directed the grant in memory of Renee Hargreaves who died at a young age from melanoma.
At the Relay 4 Life, Team Cancure’s 56 members were among 101 teams raising a total $425,156.
Ms Deken said cancer had touched the team’s members personally and inspired them during the 24-hour non-stop relay.
“I’ve had a number of skin cancers but my mother had a number of melanomas removed in 2014.
“She always does three or four laps, bakes a ginger cake for the team.”
One of the team members, Ryan, 17, was a “walking machine” who completed a monster 72 laps of the Akoonah Park circuit.
Ms Deken was one of several members who barely slept between the Friday evening start to Saturday evening finish to ensure the baton never left the track.
“The really hard part is between 2-4am when everyone has already done a lot of work.
“Everyone is on the same page. Every dollar is going towards funding for a cure – whether it’s breast cancer or melanoma.”
The group recently changed its name from Cancare due to the deregistration of Cancare Organisation Support Group.
But its determination lives on for another tilt at the Relay for Life in 2017 – already raising funds with a chocolate drive and planning a car rally.
Details are at fundraising.cancer.org.au and search for Cancure.
A PAKENHAM daredevil went from travelling at 171km/h on her motorbike to a complete stop after being intercepted by police.
The 21-year-old woman from Pakenham was allegedly picked up travelling at 171km/h in the 100km/h zone on the Princes Freeway at about 2am on Wednesday 31 August.
Police left shaking their heads over the high-risk behaviour also discovered her bike did not have fixed number plates.
She is expected to be charged on summons with exceeding the speed limit, speed dangerous, riding an unregistered motorbike and driving with a number plate not affixed.
Her motorcycle was immediately impounded for 30 days and it will cost the Pakenham woman $972 to get her high-powered bike out of the impound yard.