Ever wondered what it would be like to meet President Barack Obama or share a room with him for just over an hour? Saturday (November 15, 2014) will be a day that young Australian students and citizens in Brisbane will remember forever, in particular those that attended Obama’s speech at The University of Queensland. The speech was mainly on US leadership in the Asia Pacific and took an unexpected approach when Obama made some remarks on climate change.[blockquote cite=”B.Obama” type=”left, center, right”]We need to lead the global fight against climate change.[/blockquote]
[pullquote cite=”B.Obama” type=”right”]Here in the Asia Pacific nobody has more at stake when it comes to thinking about and then acting on climate change…..Here, a climate that increases in temperature will mean more extreme and frequent storms, more flooding, rising seas that submerge Pacific Islands….In Australia it means longer droughts, more wildfires.[/pullquote] President Obama praised the Great Barrier Reef and said he wishes to visit it one day. Further to that President Obama said he wants his daughters to be able to come back and he wants them to bring their daughter and sons too to visit one day. Therefore, preserving the Great Barrier Reef and looking after its environment seems to be one of the main commitments for the future.
Moving away from climate change, Obama also addressed some issues in regards to fostering growth and talent into young people, as they are the future leaders of tomorrow. He urged that it is necessary for the youth to make use of all the knowledge and opportunities that are available at their disposal. Surprisingly, Obama said he prefers to spend time with young people, which is why he chose to address a young crowd of individuals from different walks of life. This sure left many feeling acknowledged and appreciated and reinforced the important role young people have to play in society.[pullquote cite=”B.Obama” type=”right”]Opportunities today are limitless for today’s generation.[/pullquote]
[highlight type=”standard, dark”]Highlights from Obama’s address:[/highlight]
[pullquote cite=”On respect” type=”left”]No ones equality should be denied.[/pullquote] [pullquote cite=”On talent and fostering growth in our youth” type=”left”]The voices of people must be heard and leaders must be accountable.[/pullquote] [pullquote cite=”On innovation” type=”left”]We believe in open markets and trade that is fair and free…where small business owners and entrepreneurs and innovators have the freedom to dream and create and flourish.[/pullquote] [pullquote cite=”On the importance of values” type=”left”]For the young people, compromise is necessary, but it’s also important to stand up for values.[/pullquote] [pullquote cite=”A promise to developing nations” type=”left”]We will contribute 3 billion to help developing nations deal with climate change.[/pullquote]
Prior to the commencement of this speech the UQ VC Peter Hoj urged young students to pay attention to Obama’s speech and go home and reflect on some of the key points he would address. Mr Hoj was right, Obama managed to engage with the audience and was received with laughter about his Aussie jokes and the crowd applauded the way he spoke with conviction and authenticity. At the end of the speech some students were lucky enough to briefly greet him and exchange a handshake with the President. Talk about a memory that’s going to stick with these young students for a long time.
We were privileged and pleased to have attended this speech and happy to share with you some of these moments from a student’s perspective and hope you take away some of Obama’s key messages and apply them them to help shape your future and achieve your set goals and dreams.[highlight type=”standard, dark”]Reference to Brisvegas and XXXX[/highlight]
US president Barack Obama says his staff advised on XXXX beer upon his arrival to “Brisvegas” for G20