Commonwealth Youth Forum: The week that was
John Loughton: On Sunday the 23 October, 130 young leaders from right across the
Commonwealth gathered here in Fremantle, Western Australia, for Commonwealth Youth
Shireene McMillian: I believe that youth can be an agent for change and I see myself as an
agent for change.
Sydney Chisi: I think the youth population between the ages of 18 and 30 or there about almost
consists almost like 60 percent of that population, so you also want to see nations in the
Commonwealth responding to that demography if he doesn’t respond to that demography that
means it can not also accommodate the growing population that is fast becoming very
Jean-Paul Brice Affana: We are many young people around the world sharing the same vision
and the same passion and then we want to see how together we can be more powerful and
then have a big impact.
John Loughton: And to formerly kick off our agenda over 200 delegates, politicians, civic
leaders, local youth and media gathered for our outstanding opening ceremony.
Alan Huynh: No other forum has such high level engagement with people in positions of power
that can make decisions that can have impact on all of you.
The Hon Julia Gillard MP: The future of our world as well as the future of the Commonwealth
will be shaped by you. There are delegates in this room involved in peace building, climate
change networks, social enterprises, peer education, health work. Each of you has a remarkable
story to tell.
John Loughton: We then moved into our thematic workshops the place where we would form
our recommendations that would go to heads of government to really see young people as the
drivers for progressive change in the commonwealth.
Samar Min Allah: I am in the Environment Sustainability sub group and the discussions so far
have been very good. Very productive.
Fawzi Ghosn: We have a different diversity of opinions and it’s interesting to see what people
Lachlan Cooke: So at first we were throwing up just basic ideas that have been generated
before. We then, leading up to today and yesterday, all this energy and passion that everyone
has behind the ideas and the issues they have in their own community and country have all
been coming together and united with these central ideas and recommendations that we’ve
John Loughton: We’ve also had amazing skills workshops to build our capacity as change
Yamikani Chunga: When I go back I am going to continue talking to them sharing skills which is
needed for the betterness of our young people and countries and commonwealth.
Ladonna Daniel: I hope to achieve new skills from the workshops I will be attending and also I
will learn new experiences and new skills from other participants from the different regions.
Sia Konori Sulimoniolesuafa Seumanutafa: We got a very good idea on how we should be
creative and innovative for development.
Lerato Mofokeng: Through this experience I think I am going to learn a lot. When I go back
home I am going to be carrying a bag full of heavy ideas, just like a bag of potatoes or
something like that.
Tharika Dileepani Udalamaththa Gamage: The best thing is meeting new people every day and
all of them are very friendly, very lovely and we are friends now. It is the best thing I think.
Khatib Sadikien bin Haji Ibrahim: The cultural night was really fun and it really made me mingle
around with other youth from other countries.
John Loughton: And all that was topped off by us together finalising our statements and
recommendations that will go forward to the communiqué. Really spelling out how we as youth
see our Commonwealth.
Lachlan Cooke: We’re all such passionate people and we all want to make change happen and
that’s because we believe in one another. No matter what colour your skin is, no matter what
your religious values are, no matter what your background culture is, we all have that mutual
respect and everything we’ve done together as a program has all come together and it’s been
John Loughton: Together we can stand proud to say this is our Commonwealth, our future.
Lerato Mofokeng: Guys! Ok focus. Focus. Give me some love.