New Generations Director Anita and President Merv with our guests Talia Mitchell and Ryan Simioni
President Merv was pleased to welcome several guests to the meeting. Mark Dupe, Director Corporate and Community Services, Baw Baw Shire, Model United Nations Assembly (MUNA) representatives, Talia Mitchell and Ryan Simioni along with their parents Deb and Wayne Mitchell and Kylie Simioni.

New Generations Director Anita Coonan introduced MUNA representatives Thalia and Ryan to the Club. Thalia and Ryan both attend Drouin Secondary College and are studying Year 10.
Thalia and Ryan explained that MUNA stands for Model United Nations Assembly. MUNA is a simulation of the United Nations General Assembly. They chose to represent South Africa.
Thalia and Ryan spent many hours researching South Africa’s stance on the following resolutions:
• Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (North Korea)
• Protection of global climate for present and future generations of humankind
• The situation of the Rohingya people in Myanmar
• The situation in the Syrian Arab Republic
• Intensification of efforts to eliminate violence against women and girls
• Refugees
Prior to attending MUNA, Thalia and Ryan attended a workshop in Traralgon at which the resolutions were discussed in detail to assist them to develop a better understanding of the issues. They were also able to collaborate with other delegates to determine who were potential allies. They also contacted the South African Embassy in Canberra who were very obliging.
On the first day four resolutions were discussed:
• Myanmar
• Syrian Arab Republic
• North Korea
• Women’s rights
Discussions became heated as delegates aimed to maintain superior stances in order to gain votes for their side. Between the third and final debate, Thalia and Ryan discovered that a supporter had donated 30 million Rand to their cause, which they tried to use as financial aid, however the nations that they needed support from did not require financial help. South Africa did open the assembly for the final resolution of women’s rights, emphasising the need for acknowledgement of gender-based violence and the need for solidarity to deal with it.
Both Thalia and Ryan were in awe of the guest speaker, Mr Gary Newton, who shared his experiences as a polio sufferer with the group.
On the final day, Rayan delivered a grand speech on the necessity for global cooperation when dealing with the issue of climate change. He used South Africa’s Cape Town region as his example of vulnerability to climatic variability. Cape Town has suffered a decade long drought which suddenly ended with torrential rain which then flooded the city.
Ryan and Thalia thanked the Rotary Club of Drouin for allowing them the opportunity to take part in a life changing camp. They formed new friendships with a wonderful group of individuals who share similar passions to them.