The Entity that is MyNT…To Me
by Anania Isadora, 30 January 2014
Walking in at the Multicultural Council of the NT (MCNT) in mid-2010 to meet the Youth Executive Board of MyNT made me surprisingly nervous. I’d heard a little about this group, but from what I knew of them, they were a bunch of pretty cool kids doing some pretty amazing stuff for their communities, and I wanted to be a part of it. To be honest, I didn’t just want to volunteer; I wanted to be member of the Exec straight away. I don’t know why, and it was overly ambitious and presumptuous of me to think that they’d even want me – seeing as I hadn’t been in Darwin for years and they totally didn’t know me from the next guy – but I went ahead and arranged to attend one of their Exec meetings. Just as I entered the main conference room – whilst at the same time reminding myself to ‘K.I.S.S.’ (Keep it Simple, Stupid) because I have a tendency to talk way too much and make heaps of random jokes that may seem irrelevant to the current context (people always laugh though, so whatevs) – Kevin Kadirgamar comes out of the library with his big smile and extends a handshake. I just froze, hey. Not because he was THE head honcho at the time, but because I met Kevin a few years back at a Model United Nations (MUN), and I was his facilitator, and I may have been a bit…strict. As I shook his hand, I just thought, “Nia, mate, you’re so not getting in”.
Kevin, however, was all “Hey! How you going? I’ve met you before…at MUN! It’s great to see you!” and smiling and being all nice to me and stuff. I was completely speechless; I’m pretty sure I nodded a lot and tried to smile back. Anyway, he ushered me into the library where the meeting was going to take place, and proceeded to make small talk while we waited for the
Image source: https://funtaqa.wordpress.com/author/funtaqa/page/19/
others to arrive. The meeting eventually began and Kevin introduced me to the others. I don’t really remember what was said during that first meeting but what I do remember was that Kani Martin and Susan Jackson were literally having their own gossip session during it, were so loud, talking over each other and over whoever was speaking at the time – I pretty much knew who didn’t like who, and who said what in those two girls’ lives by the end of it. Jane Clement, who didn’t even look at me because she was on her phone the whole time, kept telling the other two girls to be quiet, and every time there was a vote on an agenda item, Jane would shush them and then repeat what the vote was for and Kani and Susan would just clap their hands once and go “Yep!”. Then there was Kenneth Kadirgamar, who just laughed a lot, and I thought looked a lot like Kevin – I didn’t know they were brothers at the time; and Victoria Close, who I just thought was so elegant and pretty, I kept staring at her. Of course, there was Zac Rudge, previous MyNT Youth Coordinator, who we could not have grown without as individuals and as an organisation – he’s the best egg out there (inside joke, sorry peeps!).
Finally, towards the end of the meeting, and after saying a bunch of things about myself in the hope that they would just like me, Kevin asked for a vote on having me be included in the Exec. I can’t remember if I left the room for that, and I think I may be mixing up the memory from when they were deciding if I was fit to be the next Chair – which was about 9 months later, but everyone did say yes to me being part of the gang. And, I’m telling you now, this ‘Yes’ changed my life forever.
I was asked to write this piece by the current Youth Exec on Monday, Australia Day public holiday 2014, during their yearly Strategic Planning Meeting in Darwin (you see how dedicated this mob is? It was a HOLIDAY). I was there for a couple of weeks, and during this time, they made me feel like I never even left. I was on the Tectonic Youth Radio Show on Darwin 91.5FM, they invited me to hang out at the OzFusion, and even attend the Strat Plan. Now, it’s Thursday and I’m sitting at Perth International waiting for my flight to Dubai on my way to Ghana writing this, and I’m once again missing my life with MyNT. I met and became mates for life with the most loyal, dedicated, accomplished, intelligent, FUN, and inspiring young people that don’t often get national or international attention, but are true local heroes in their communities. This mob truly believes that they can make the world a better place by making even the smallest difference in the lives of those around them. They’ve run leadership summits, language connection conferences, delivered workshops at schools, volunteered at community functions, mobilized different youth groups for a single cause, hosted radio shows, successfully run fundraising relief efforts for the victims of the Japanese earthquake/tsunami and Filipino typhoon disasters, supported the efforts of other local NGOs and community groups, fostered strong relationships with government departments, represented the NT in national and international events and conferences, and so much more – all the while believing that young people from the NT are true leaders, and continuously providing avenues for making this happen.
Photo by: Krshna Capaque
Since leaving – physically, but not spiritually and emotionally! – the organisation at the start of 2012, MyNT has just gone from strength to strength, and with the current Youth Exec being led pocket rocket Alpha Capaque at the helm, by it willonly continue to do so, I’d bet my Pa’s car on that! (I’d bet my own stuff, but still at 27, I don’t have any assets to my name…) So to everyone who is and has been part of MyNT, know and cherish that you are part of something great, and your time with this amazing organisation will be some of the best in your entire life.
I could go on and on about how MyNT opened so many doors for me, and how it exposed me to so many other opportunities that I would not have been privy to otherwise, but that’s not the point of THIS story. The point is this: My name is Anania, I was lucky enough to have been a MyNT Chair, and I am forever grateful, honoured and humbled to have been part of this unique, amazing and inspiring entity that is MyNT.