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
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
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
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.