19 March 2012
Congratulations to AYV member Fale Lesa who will represent New Zealand at Commonwealth Day in London on 12 March 2012.
Extract taken from Manukau Courier 28 February 2012.
It's a long way from Manurewa to London for Fale Lesa.
But it's not going to be just any overseas trip – he will get to meet Queen Elizabeth II.
Fale is one of two youth representatives chosen to represent New Zealand at the Commonwealth Day Observance at Westminster Abbey.
He was picked by the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association to attend the event which is part of the Queen's 60th jubilee celebrations.
"I am extremely excited and what awaits me on this journey abroad will obviously demand a great deal from me internally," he says.
It'll be his first time in Europe so the law and political science student has been swotting up on all the attractions and geography.
He's also been sent scores of documents on how to act in the Queen's presence and the decorum he needs to show.
Mr Lesa will be put up in a five-star hotel by the British government - just down the road from Westminster Abbey. He'll get to share an hour with the Queen and British Prime Minister David Cameron, albeit with representatives from the other 54 Commonwealth nations.
Mr Lesa says he's looking forward to meeting like-minded young people from all over the world, particularly since he has an eye on a career in the United Nations.
"These are young people that have been scrutinised during the selection process so obviously they are very determined and experienced. Naturally they're future leaders, these could be people that are future prime ministers, presidents or heads of state so it's a great networking opportunity."
And he's determined to get a photo with Her Majesty so he's taking a "flash" camera to capture every detail.
Manurewa Local Board member Colleen Brown says she decided to support Mr Lesa because she saw "huge potential" in him as someone the youth in the community could look up to.
The Ministry of Youth Development wish Fale all the best and look forward to hearing about the trip on his return.