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Gen Z Mind Shifters: 2019 Round Square Conference @ Woodleigh

I was one of the students who had the opportunity to be a Barraza leader at the Woodleigh Round Square Conference. Being a Barraza leader meant that my partner and I were leading a small group of students on discussions about various topics, whilst playing games to have some fun.

After we had listened to a speaker or had some activities, all of the students would break into our groups and discuss what we had just learned about. We used the games to make everyone feel comfortable and get to know each other. Once we had achieved this, we had some really valuable conversations about how we could apply what we were learning at Round Square into our schools and communities. In my group, there was a mixture of personalities which made some tasks hard, but I was glad to see that by the end of the week everyone seemed to be quite comfortable. My group also had people from a diverse range of countries which gave me lots of perspectives on how different countries deal with environmental issues.

During the conference, we had lots of opportunities to participate in activities. My favourite was the Monash Precious Plastics. They are a group of students from Monash University who have created a machine that turns plastic waste into usable items. They explained the processes of cleaning the plastic and sorting it into groups so that it can be used by the machine. This way of thinking has really intrigued me and has made me interested in the ways in which we could recycle our plastic waste into useful items. I really enjoyed being able to talk to people from around the world and I feel that Round Square is a one of a kind experience that I am grateful to have been a part of.

Owen Kirschenberg
Year 10