No fence sitting here

“SOME PEOPLE WANT IT TO HAPPEN, SOME WISH IT TO HAPPEN, OTHERS MAKE IT HAPPEN.”

Last year Art4Agriculuture introduced you to Jordan Kerr a young man who is making things happen. Jordan’s strong social conscience, sense of community and commitment to be the change that needs to happen had already seen him represent Australia at the Global Young Leaders Conference 2011, where he had a speaking gig at the United Nations 2011 in New York.

Having now finished his HSC he is having a gap year before he embarks on a degree in Social Inquiry and International Studies at UTS. With this degree under his belt he will then be looking at a career in international politics and diplomacy.  I am confident people like Nick Xenophon would be grateful indeed to have someone of the ilk of Jordan watching their back 

Jordan has accomplished a great deal in the last 12 months including represent Australia at the Presidential Inaugural Conference in Washington DC in January 2013.

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He has also set up Youth Link Australia (YLA) in 2012 . The aim of YLA  is to connect youth across Australia with youth services 

I personally see Jordan as a socially conscious leader. I see someone who is aware of the issues facing both local and global communities and is actively trying to correct the problem and providing opportunities to nurture others to do the same. 

Today Jordan gives us an update on the last 12 months. I am just not quite sure what to say when I read his story and see what he has achieved in such a short time. I just wonder what I have been doing with my life. If only the world was full of people the calibre of Jordan Kerr 

The story so far can be found here and the next chapter follows ……

During the six years I spent at Hurlstone Agricultural High School in Glenfield NSW I was lucky enough to meet a number of fellow students who share my values and priorities and then find a supportive teacher body who encouraged us in our endeavours to find and trial new and different ways to connect with and contribute to the wider community.

Having personally benefited from the many opportunities for Australian youth locally, nationally and internationally, I was keen for other young people to share the benefits as well. So last year six of my fellow Hurlstonians got together and set up Youth Link Australia with the purpose of connecting young people with services and opportunities within their community.  By providing a single website Australian youth now have access to a vast variety of resources in one place.

As an organisation we aim to:

  • Enable youth to easily access national services online in one website.
  • Encourage youth to get actively involved within their local community.
  • Provide information in relation to youth volunteering and extra-curricular activities.
  • Provide information in relation to leadership opportunities locally, nationally and internationally.

We are also very partnership focused and work with other organisations to help promote their work to Australian youth, so if you like what you see when you visit our website we would love to hear from you.

Now to the highlight of my 2013 year so far and that of course is being selected to represent Australia at the Presidential Inaugural Conference which was held in Washington DC during January 2013.

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Sponsored by the NSW Government, Xstrata Coal, Dick Smith (the individual not the company) and the John Edmondson VC Memorial Club I participated in the 5 day conference that celebrates the inauguration of the President of the United States. IMG_1064

The conference also explored how President’s run winning campaigns and the roles of Presidential staff. Through practical simulations and hands on seminars we actually got to take on the role of presidential staff and run mock campaigns. The conference also explored the history and the controversy surrounding former US President Richard Nixon. A special screening of the movie All the Presidents Men explored the breaking of the Watergate scandal and can you believe it I later had the opportunity to meet with Bob Woodward one of the United States most acclaimed reporters responsible for revealing the scandal to the public.

Jordan Kerr with Bob Wooward

Guest speakers at the conference included Dr. Condoleezza Rice, General Wesley Clark and Mr Claes Nobel.  Dr. Rice, former U.S. Secretary of State and National Security Advisor to the President spoke about her insider’s perspective of the US Presidency and also about growing up in a segregated community. General Clark, former NATO Supreme Allied Commander, four-star general and Presidential Candidate spoke about his leadership experiences on and off the battlefield. Mr Claes Nobel the grandnephew of Alfred Nobel founder of the Nobel Prize addressed the conference about the importance of youth leadership.

The conference also included an evening performance by The Capitol Steps, a former group of congressional staffers turned songwriters. Along with this a black tie Gala Inaugural Celebration took place at the National Air and Space Museum’s Steven F. Udvar- Hazy Center, home to thousands of aviation and space artefacts, including the Space Shuttle Discovery.

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Inauguration day was of course the biggest highlight of the conference. Standing amongst the among the hundreds of thousands of people watching the President take the Oath of Office was a truly unforgettable experience. The national pride and American patriotism was like nothing I had ever seen before.

Jordan was there … he saw history and he was part of it …… I have a feeling he will be making history himself in the not too distant future