United Youth Media have packed up their laptops, cameras, pens and writing

pads and have headed to Apia, Samoa to report on the 2015 Commonwealth

Youth Games.

The team of six comprises of the two young directors Brianna Ricci, 21, and UYM

graduate Alana Christensen, 19, and 4 students from the Maroondah Education

Coalition - Molly D’Arcy and Patrick Mastalerz, both 16, and Erin Smith and

Lizzie Jewell, both 14.

The team are working for Samoa’s national paper, the Samoa Observer, the

Australian Commonwealth Games Association, Team Samoa and Oceania


With official accreditation and several Games under their belt including the

London 2012 Olympics, where they reported for the Oceania National Olympic

Committees, this team is raring to go as they wait for Saturday’s opening


“We have enjoyed getting to know the local people, meeting with our partners

and training our new United Youth Media Samoa team,” said Brianna after their

two hour training session last week at the Robert Louis Stevenson School.

“Education doesn’t get better than this as our students, Australian and Samoan,

leave their classrooms and pick up their notepads and cameras to put their

learning into practice.”

United Youth Media have spent the whole year preparing for this opportunity.

“We are supported by the Victorian Education Department, the Oceania Australia

Foundation, Rotary and our Game’s partners,” Brianna said.

“Our goal is to provide as much content on athletes in a youth voice as we can,

and leave a legacy by creating a local chapter of UYM.

“We are very fortunate to have the Oceania Australia Foundation and Rotary as

partners, as they are both committed to supporting education in developing

nations as well as Australia.

“We aim to share our resources and skills to give students in Samoa and other

Pacific nations the opportunity to report on events their countries are

participating in.”

Acting Deputy Secretary of Victorian Education’s Regional Services Group, Bruce

Armstrong supports approaches such as this one which encourage authentic

learning and taps into student intrinsic motivation, by allowing students to

pursue their passions and apply their many talents in the real world.

“UYM is a unique program that allows students to develop the skills of creativity,

innovation and collaboration that are key capabilities to thrive as citizens in a

rapidly changing world," he said.

Oceania Australia Foundation said it was proud to support United Youth Media.

“The Oceania Australia Foundation is proud to be associated with this dynamic

young team who are continually offering 'hands on' educational opportunities to

both Australian and Pacific Island students to inspire their learning through

practical experience," said executive director Helen McMurray.

The Rotary Club of Croydon have had an ongoing relationship with United Youth

Media and are delighted to see that three years of planning have finally come to


“The ROYALL (Rotary Overseas Youth Achievement through Learning and

Linkages) project has supported the local teens in each of their overseas trips

since London 2012 and is committed to helping them share their skills and

talents to establish many UYM chapters across the Pacific, “ says project leader

John Gander.

On Saturday the games begin with what is sure to be a spectacular opening

ceremony. Over 60 nations are competing in 9 sports over 5 days.

The UYM team have increased from 6 to 26 since touching down in Samoa, and

this young and enthusiastic group will descend on sporting venues today to tell

the stories of triumph.

Be sure to keep an eye on their Facebook and Twitter pages, and if you have a

good story that needs telling, contact them directly.


Facebook: unitedyouthmedia

Twitter: @uy_media

Instagram: @uymedia


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