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April 2022 Newsletter

Message from the President:

Welcome to our first edition of UNAASA news. We hope you enjoy reading about what our members, friends and supporters have been up to! With my best regards during these changing times, Lidia Moretti 

Harmony Day

On a glorious sunny day on Tuesday 16th March all three Year 6 classes of Glenelg Primary School gathered on the Glenelg beach as part of Harmony Week.

The initiative to celebrate Harmony Day and United Nations was a partnership between UNAASA and well known Adelaide artist Andrew Baines who is UNAASA’s artistic advisor. His concept and sketch inspired the program for the celebration.

The students, accompanied by teachers and principal Mr. Shane Misso walked from school to the beach. Coincidentally several of the students were wearing orange hats – appropriate because orange is the official colour of Harmony Day.

After a brief address by UNAASA President Lidia Moretti, it was soon obvious that the students had been well prepared regarding the meaning of Harmony Day knowing that it celebrates Australia’s cultural diversity, its inclusiveness, respect and a sense of belonging for everyone.

Creating a human installation, over 100 students sat along coastline whilst holding the Harmony yoga pose, wearing blue masks to highlight Covid and commemorated in photos taken by Andrew.

SA MPs Nat Cook and Stephen Patterson attended using their time to chat with teachers and students.

ABC, The Advertiser and Channel 7 also covered this event and was featured on the evening news. 

The following report is a report by Zara H, Ashton T, Annabel D and Shauna G who attended the Harmony Day event:
With Harmony Day 2022 on the horizon, Andrew Baines our South Australian artist created the beautiful painting above of children sitting on the beach being protected by our incredible Surf Lifesavers under the security of the United Nations Flag. His image symbolises life as we now know it as children in 2022, but provides us with hope and a sense of calmness.

So, when we as Year 6 students within Glenelg Primary School were invited by Lidia Moretti, The United Nations Association of Australia (SA)  President to recreate Andrew’s beautiful image as a photograph on Glenelg Beach, (which is less than a 1km walk from our school), we were really excited. As a multicultural school we celebrate Harmony Day every year by wearing orange and participating in special assemblies and arts projects that include everyone and explore our amazing and diverse cultural backgrounds, but we have never been asked to recreate a painting to mark such an important event.

Through class discussions we discovered that we knew some interesting facts about what the United Nations purpose was, and through deeper research we discovered why the United Nations was formed and why it is such an important worldwide organisation because of all the incredible work that it does to keep everyone in the world safe and protected in times of natural disasters and war. We spoke about the events and values that link Harmony Day and the United Nations, and now know that the 21st of March coincides with the International Day of the Elimination of Racial Discrimination. We also discovered that Harmony Day was first held in Australia in 1999.

With this new information we now had a better understanding of why Andrew’s photograph was so important to recreate. So, on Tuesday the 15th of March we, (all 98 of us), set off from school to walk down to Glenelg Beach on a beautiful blue sky 27-degree day. Lidia and Andrew meet us on the sand. Lidia introduced herself and talked to us about the importance of Harmony Day. Andrew then told us how we were each going to sit in a yoga pose with our index finger and thumb together and that this pose represented peace and hope during our current times. Andrew then organised us in a line. Our Surf Lifesaver who is holding the UN flag is actually a past Glenelg Primary School pupil Hamish Hayes, who as a SA active Surf Safer volunteer, came to support the picture.

Andrew was really friendly and professional as he took lot of photographs of us posing in groups and of us in a long line.  Everyone was really excited but also relaxed when this photograph was being taken and it felt good to be part of such an important event.  We hope you like the photograph and would like to thank Lidia and Andrew for involving us in such a worthwhile learning experience.
We would also like to wish you a peaceful, kind and happy Harmony Day.

Adelaide International Women's Day 2022 - 11th March

The Adelaide IWD breakfast committee supporting UN Women Australia held another highly successful and inspirational breakfast coming together under the theme “Gender equality today for a sustainable tomorrow”.  

The Adelaide breakfast is the largest event celebrating IWD in Australia and it is the largest annual women’s event in the Adelaide calendar. The pandemic has significantly disadvantaged millions of women and the IWD helps raise funds to support UN Women Australia’s projects in the Asia-Pacific region.

This time the breakfast was all-virtual due to the ongoing pandemic and was hosted in smaller gatherings with friends and colleagues around South Australia who tuned into the session online.
The session included In Conversation with Penny Wong - Senator for SA and Grace Tame 2021 Australian of the Year.

Australian Day Awards @ Government House - 30th April

It was a delightful evening to recognise outstanding community contributions at the Australia Day Awards presented by the Australia Day Council of South Australia, in the company of Her Excellency Honourable Frances Adamson AC and other distinguished guests on the grounds of Government House on Wednesday 30 March.

Vongalonga Down Unda Training Update

UNAASA is participating in Vogalonga Down Unda on April 24th, a family friendly, non-competitive rowing and paddling regatta exemplifying team spirit on 24th April. The event promotes the UN’s good health and well-being Sustainable Development Goals and supports South Australian tourism. Our very own Rob Dempsey and Miranda Jelbart will be on team UNAASA and it is planned for Hon. Rev. Dr Lynn Arnold AO  to bless the 'Fleet'. Our special adviser the Honorable Robyn Layton AO QC (pictured to the right with Rob Dempsey) trained with us. We hope you can make it to cheer on our team. Who knows our President Lidia Moretti may even make a rowing appearance!

New Report: Mitigation of Climate Change
(Courtesy of United Nations)

On 4 April, the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change will release a major report on the progress and gaps in our efforts to cut greenhouse gas emissions and invest in renewable energy. The latest report of the Panel’s Working Group III, developed by 278 authors from 65 countries, will focus on the mitigation options available across different sectors, the potential of new technologies, the role of demand and consumerism, and the interplay between adaptation and mitigation. To learn more:

Secretary-General's Statement on Ukraine
(Courtesy UN News)

Antonio Guterres has addressed the Security Council chamber in New York, stating “Whatever the outcome, this war will have no winners, only losers.”

Mr. Guterres said the UN and humanitarian partners were working to ensure safe passage from besieged areas, and to provide aid where security permits, allowing around 600,000 to receive some form of aid since the bombardment began.

The nearly two million now displaced inside the country, and close to three million who have become refugees in the past two weeks - the vast majority women and children – are becoming increasingly vulnerable, he warned.

To read the Secretary-General’s full remarks see

Upcoming SDGs



External Events and Publications

South Australia's History Festival 2022

South Australians are encouraged to reimagine and renew connections with their history, to get out and about in this great state, explore the familiar and the lesser known – and be challenged to discover what makes South Australia unique. Reflecting on the past two years of a global pandemic, the History Festival explores the stories we tell, the lessons we take from the past – and how this might help us shape and reimagine our future.

Presented by the History Trust of South Australia, South Australia’s History Festival is one of the state’s largest open-access community events. It returns for its 18th year in May 2022, and for the first time ever you can get a sneak peek of what is on offer through our virtual program launch on Thursday 7 April.

Every year a groundswell of community support and enthusiasm for our state’s rich history sees thousands of South Australians volunteer to make the History Festival a success. With around 500 events registered across South Australia, by some 350 different event organisers, this year’s festival offers the macabre to the fascinating, the shocking to the heart-warming – and everything in between.

History Trust CEO, Greg Mackie OAM said, “We are thrilled to present another History Festival for the people of South Australia and invite all to make time to discover and embrace the rich history that this state has to offer.”

“This year’s theme of reimagine honours both our unique history and the many people across our state who keep local stories alive. Like always, the range of events are incredible, and with around 80 per cent of events being free, there is no excuse to not get out and explore our fascinating culture.”, continued Greg.

Thanks to a partnership with community television station Channel 44, you can join us virtually for the official program launch on Thursday, April 7 from 7pm. Tune in on the night through South Australia’s History Festival Facebook page or Channel 44. Then pick up your hardcopy program from April 8 through your local Foodland Supermarket, an iconic business with a unique ‘Mighty South Aussie’ history.

A virtual program launch will featured appearances from Senior Kaurna man Uncle Mickey O’Brien; Her Excellency, the Honourable Frances Adamson AC, Governor of South Australia; the Right Honourable Lord Mayor Sandy Verschoor; Chair of Trustees Elizabeth Ho OAM; and Chief Executive of The History Trust of South Australia Greg Mackie OAM.

Here is the Link for further information:

2022 UN Youth SA State Conference

From December 2021 to March 2022, I had the pleasure of convening the 2022 SA State Conference run by UN Youth SA. Four amazing months of behind the scenes planning finally came into effect from the 18th – 20th of March. With the theme of International Law, 70 students in years 8-12 got to learn about the global and local issues facing world leaders. On Day 1 we had our official opening of the event followed by a scavenger hunt where delegates were put into groups and had to identify cultural items associated with countries. Later in the evening, delegates participated in an interactive consult session on Financial Literacy, hosted by Sara Possignham. This consult session was well received as quoted by a delegate “Financial literacy, you bet I'll be bargaining with my year level leaders to get this incorporated because we as young people (and people in general) need to know about this stuff, and we don't.” To end the day, we had a fun quiz night including a round “All about the UN” where students got to test their knowledge of the UN.

Day two we finally got to get started on workshops! The first workshop being an introduction to international law. This workshop was created to give all students a benefit of gaining introductory knowledge to help them thrive throughout the weekend. Following workshop 1 was workshop 2 on statehood and sovereignty. After some fun and games, delegates then participated in a speaker’s session.

We had three amazing guest speakers for the day, Ms. Juliette McIntyre, Mr. Joel Lisk and Honourable Justice Bleby. Delegates and facilitators each got to ask our guest speakers as many questions as time permitted! Delegates were seen taking notes and feedback was well received. Delegates quoting “The space talk by Joel was very good, he was a good speaker and really drew me in and was easy to follow,” “I wish I had more time with the guest speakers, particularly Juliette and Honourable Justice Bleby as I share similar interests.” We finished off Day 2 with an Interactive Problem-Solving activity. Interactive problem-solving activities ask students to work in teams to solve hypothetical crisis situations, while simultaneously learning about the powers of government and the UN.

Day three, delegates were met with their final workshop on effect and enforcement of international law. Following that was the much-awaited Model UN debate where delegates debated on two resolutions: The Question of Proxy Warfare and The Question of Enforceability of General Assembly Resolutions.

To end the events we had a special recorded zoom meeting between myself and Kym Taylor who works for the United Nations Department of Peacekeeping Operations and Department of Field Support. A delegate has said “Kym was really helpful, because she reminded me it's okay to be conflicted over interests and what you want to do.” My highlight as a convenor was watching everything, I had been planning for months come alive! Seeing delegates learn, make friends, and have new experiences and opportunities is something I will never forget. Convening conference has been the most rewarding experience of my life. Thank you to everyone who has helped in any way possible with conference and thank you to the amazing delegates I got to meet. Here is to their amazing future they have ahead!

SA Commissioner for Children and Young People - Stereotypes and Sexism The views and experiences of SA school students

To ensure all children and young people have equal opportunities, we must actively tackle sexism, gender stereotypes, and gender norms in schools. This means looking at the knowledge, skills, and resource barriers that reinforce the sexist stereotypes and their associated behaviours occurring in classrooms and on school grounds every day. This report outlines the issues children and young people have explicitly raised with the SA Commissioner and seeks to increase the broad understanding that sexism, harassment, and gender stereotyping has on children and young people, and create a dialogue with decision makers that can support systemic improvements in the way schools throughout South Australia work to address sexism and stereotyping in an education environment.

To read the report

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