Young Nationals Conference 2017: The Wrap Up
The 2017 NSW Young Nationals Conference over the weekend brought Young Nats from across NSW to the North-Western centre of Moree for a weekend of policy, passion, bacon and beer.
Delegates got to know each other a little better at Friday night’s welcome function while they heard from local MPs, Mark Coulton, and Minister Adam Marshall. The choice of venue, the Yaama Ganu Gallery, was unique – it is wholly owned and operated by the Aboriginal Employment Strategy (AES) which was started in Moree in 1997 by cotton farmer, Dick Estens, with the support of his industry.
Mark pointed out in his address that as the member for Parkes, he represents more Aboriginal people than farmers.
Saturday morning began for some at local watering hole, the Royal Hotel, but for the rest, it began with bacon and eggs on the barbeque before moving to the more formal parts of the Conference – motions and the Miriam Hunt Debate.
On that front, the Central West ‘Cobras’ took out the gong, making it the fourth year in row that they’ve won the top honour. Congratulations to Annie Hazelton, Sally and Amelia Judson and Alana Black for a well-argued case in the grand finale.
Eagerly anticipated, the Annual Dinner did not disappoint, with a spectacular venue in the Max Centre, delicious food, and importantly, an open bar.
Relations between our Northern and Southern Parliamentary Secretaries took an interesting turn as Ben Franklin and Bronnie Taylor broke the ice on the dance-floor with some spectacular dance moves. They were soon joined by many others as an excellent local band, Contingency Plan, played until the last bus home could wait no more.
During the evening a bidding war had broken out between a Donald Trump hat and Hillary Clinton t-shirt. It was just one of the highlights in a colourful auction by Wacka Williams – including a joke which had the crowd roaring with laughter.
While there were a few sore heads on Sunday morning, they weren’t that sore that they forgot to keep The Hon Sarah Mitchell MLC delayed at breakfast, so the AGM could quickly vote (unanimously) to confer on her Life Membership. It was in recognition of all the effort she has put into the Young Nationals over the years and so great was her surprise that she was lost for words accepting it.
The AGM also saw the election of the new Young Nats Executive. Congratulations to:
Chair: Jessica Price-Purnell
Vice Chair: Sam Pearn
Vice Chair: Michael Hansen
Secretary: Zac Smith
Treasurer: Alana Black
Policy Officer: Alex Fitzpatrick
Campaign Officer: Miranda Broekman
Publicity Officer: Josie Coles
Communications Officer: Ethan Gordon
Membership Officer: Victoria Dawson
The Conference was also treated to an impassioned speech our State Leader, John Barilaro, who pointed out that our next parliamentarians and Party leaders were bred in the Young Nats and that he had promoted two of them into his ministry – Sarah Mitchell and Adam Marshall.
As the weekend drew to a close, young and old friends alike hopped in cars, buses, trains or planes back to their communities. They went back knowing that regional and rural youth do have a voice in politics – and its the NSW Young Nationals.