by Justine Hudock
Student Community Engagement
Minister of Labor, Australia
2020 Model G20
Nadia Venegas reported to the Model G20 Virtual Summit from her little neck of Mexico. The elected Minister of Labor for the Summit’s Australia delegation, Nadia is a nineteen-year-old with the wisdom of a time-weathered sage: “El hubiera no existe,” she wrote to me. “In English, it means ‘What I would have does not exist.’” This remains the most important bit of wisdom in her life. “I realize that even if I want things to be different, I cannot change them. The only thing left is to take care of them.”
It’s fitting that her favorite quote, by the eternally creative freedom-seeking poet Virginia Woolf, is “There is no gate, no lock, no bolt that you can set upon the freedom of my mind.” Nadia seems to be armored by the prudent notion that freedom and happiness are often in our own control — perhaps accessible by simply focusing on what we can improve, not what we can’t.
It’s an invaluable sentiment to keep close to one’s heart at any stage of life, but in a global pandemic, it’s indispensable. Nadia chooses not to stare backward at circumstances she can’t change, but rather, plan for a brighter future.
“I’m going to finish my college education, start working and with my earnings and savings be able to gather the money needed in order to take my whole family to Disneyland.” That’s how you celebrate graduation.
Maybe Nadia is searching for the “happiest place on Earth” everywhere life takes her. She certainly brought a piece of that with her in her presence at the Summit.
Looking ahead, how do you hope to use the skills and experiences you’ve gained at the Model G20 Summit in your career?
I hope to develop more towards Politics Science during my career, so I hope to be able to speak out my ideas more fluently on internal and external dialogues about what needs to be changed in my community and in the world.
How do you feel about the quality of the conversations and response from your colleagues and instructors?
I think the instructors were very clear, and I was amazed by the conversations generated with my team about the country we represented and with my peers, who played the same role as me for different countries.
How has Model G20’s take on pandemic education aligned with the values that drive your own education on pandemics?
I think the way my school reacted to the pandemic, as well as Knovva, was very correct, since these institutions did not stop the planned activities, but adapted themselves into a completely digital model to preserve the learning experiences that really generate a positive impact on us students.
What is the single feature of the Summit that exceeded your expectations?
What surprised me the most was how well organized were all the activities, including the fact that the Knovva staff reacted really quickly to any situation.
What about Model G20 do you think would benefit any person, if they were to attend?
Listening to the different country perspectives on actual issues could be an eye opener for anyone regardless of their knowledge.