Gympie UNICEF Ambassador Indiana Hehir (front, second from right) met with Olivia Newton-John in Canberra this week.
Gympie UNICEF Ambassador Indiana Hehir (front, second from right) met with Olivia Newton-John in Canberra this week. Contributed

Gympie UNICEF ambassador meets Aussie pop royalty

THE amount of work she's done over the past 12 months would boggle most minds, but a relaxed local UNICEF ambassador Indiana Hehir says she's just getting started.

Fresh off her time as one of eight Australian UNICEF Young Ambassadors after winning the position in August last year, the Year 12 student spent her final week in the role in Canberra, where she met with politicians such as Federal Member for Wide Bay Llew O'Brien and shadow education minister Tanya Plibersek.

Gympie student Indiana Hehir, a Unicef Australia Young Ambassador
JUST THE START: Gympie student and UNICEF Australia Young Ambassador Indiana Hehir is back in town after spending the week meeting with top pollies in Canberra. Troy Jegers

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The 17-year-old participated in meetings and conversations centred on the most pressing issues according to Aussie youth, taken from direct consultations with thousands of kids aged 3-22.

Fittingly, the biggest and most consistent issue they found was climate change.

"Across every consultation we held, climate change was one that really stood out, it was repeated again and again, and it wasn't just acknowledging climate change, it was children saying 'We're terrified' or 'I'm uncertain about our future',” she said.

"We chose that to be our spotlight issue, especially with the climate strikes ... going on at the moment, we thought it was appropriate to focus on that this year with the ambassador report.

"All eight of us wrote (the report) and we focused on different areas, I think it was a really awesome project where we had control over it from beginning to end, it was our work and our findings.”

Indiana said she had been largely encouraged by the conversations in a week during which she also met Aussie pop royalty Olivia Newton-John.