By Wynston Shovellor-Sesar
From the 5th to the 11th of September I was lucky to take part in a program called The Future Leaders of The Pacific that took place in Hawaii with fourteen pacific Islanders who are passionate about climate change and environmental issues around their homelands, it was part of the IUCN Conservation Congress that was also held there.
I was nervous at first that I was going to be traveling alone and hadn’t fully understood what I was getting myself into but when I arrived to Honolulu I was welcomed with open arms. We gathered and had a group discussion where we introduced ourselves and what we learnt at end of the day.
I had the privilege to meet many passionate, intelligent young leaders who are working to lead for their people and country. We shared many stories about ourselves and what we do back home. I felt challenged about opening up to strangers, but I became more confident and relaxed around others as we grew our relationship. We developed an international network of brothers and sisters who share the same values for culture and land who are concerned about climate change. We met with The Leaders from Pacific Islands and visited few of Hawaii’s National Historical Parks with the Park Rangers and tour of the National Energy Laboratory in Kona ‘Big’ Island. We then surfed some waves, walked the trail up to Diamond Head and had dinner together on the last night. The highlight of my trip was I enjoyed was meeting all the pacific Islanders and the trip to the Polynesian Cultural Centre.
It was a full on five days program that I had enjoyed and won’t forget about the experience, I am so thankful for getting the opportunity to be a part of something that is truly a life changing experience and that I want to be able to be a part of again. I would like to thank everyone involved in the selection process for choosing me, it had made me feel like anything is achievable. Living in a remote community in Western Australia that sometime isolating, opportunities like this show that there is more out there to explore wherever in the world.