Mudgee lad Jordan Kerr met with her Majesty the Queen last week as an alumnus of her program that seeks out exceptional young people from across the Commonwealth.
“It was a once in a lifetime opportunity really,” he said.
Jordan, who’s originally from Mudgee and was a student here, went to London as part of the Queen’s Young Leaders program, which he’s an advisor for.
It was established in 2014 to recognise and celebrate exceptional people aged 18-29 from across the Commonwealth, who are taking the lead in their communities and using their skills to transform lives.
Jordan was a Queen’s Young Leader in 2015, and they reach out to the alumni of the program to find those interested in returning in an advisory role.
“It’s a just over a week-long residential program where they bring 60 young people from around the Commonwealth to the UK,” he said.
“And being one of the advisors on the panel we go over and support the program by assisting in going to events at Number 10 Downing Street, the BBC, and a number of different organisations.
“It all culminates in the awards ceremony that happens at Buckingham Palace.
“It was a surreal and unique opportunity, not only to be able to support the young people who are getting the awards but to also connect with people who are doing amazing things around the Commonwealth.
“It was eye-opening to get to be able to see what amazing young people are doing.”
Jordan said that the program wraps up after next year and now he’s working on ensuring that what those young people across the 60 countries were recognised for can continue to make a difference.
“At this stage, my involvement with the program is working on the legacy,” he said.
“Because this is a limited program, next year is the final year, so we’re trying to figure out how we can leverage it throughout the Commonwealth for many years to come.
“The Palace and the Queen are keen on being able to go out and have a real engagement with young people in the Commonwealth and being able to reach out into different communities.
“Now it’s about connecting with those young leaders and building a strong network of alumni because everyone has got skills in so many different areas.
"We want to be able to build a more beneficial Commonwealth for us all.”
Jordan now lives in the nation’s capital and last year was named the ‘2016 Young Canberra Citizen of the Year’ for his efforts in establishing the National Youth Council of Australia.