Last weekend saw the 50th Anniversary meeting of the NSW Young Nationals and the holding of their Annual General Conference.
The weekend was a significant one for the Young Nats, who made their way down to Corowa to discuss motions, take part in debates and importantly, get to know fellow members from around the state.
As has been the norm since that inaugural meeting 50 years ago, the Young Nationals debated motions that entrench their ongoing independence and advocacy for young people in regional NSW. A motion supporting marriage equality was passed by the Conference, marking an historic occasion for conservative youth parties across the country. Other motions included those seeking increased environmental protection as well as other issues like introducing the study of Auslan as a language other than English in High School.
At each year’s Conference, the Young Nats also host the Miriam Hunt Debating Competition that sees regions battle it out for victory on some not so serious topics.
It wouldn't be a Young Nats event without social events, and this year was no different. Delegates gathered together at All Saints Estate in Victoria for their welcome function, hosting Peter Schwartz, Victorian Nationals President as well as Derek Schoen, NSW Farmers President and the Hon Michael McCormack, Member for the Riverina.
The Young Nats 50th Anniversary Gala Dinner was held at the old Corowa flour mill, now the Corowa Chocolate and Whisky Factory where the Hon Tim Fischer AC inspired all Young Nats to continue working and debating to become the leaders of the future. The Hon Troy Grant and Katrina Hodgkinson, past and present patrons as well as Senator the Hon Fiona Nash, Ben Franklin MLC, Sarah Mitchell MLC, Trevor Khan MLC, Jenny Gardiner, Grant McMillan, NSW Nationals Senior Vice Chairman, and Corowa locals helped the Young Nats to celebrate this important milestone.
Congratulations to Dominic Hopkinson who was re-elected as Young Nationals Chairman, as well as all of the Young Nats executive.
The Young Nationals have in recent years undergone a significant rejuvenation and their numbers at Conference have been steadily climbing, with this year around 60 delegates attending. We look forward to watching the young nationals grow and develop over the coming twelve months.