A love of learning about the world around her has scored Natalie Ng a chance to speak at the United Nations headquarters in New York.
The 11-year-old Mount Ousley Public School student is one of only eight child ambassadors from around the world chosen to address the UN with messages of peace following their participation in an online learning program.
Last September, Mount Ousley teacher Jane Lieschke introduced her year 5 class to Friend Our World, a website where students play games with other students across the globe to develop their knowledge of different cultures.
By joining up to the site, students went in the draw to win the trip. When Mrs Lieschke first found out Natalie had won, she was so surprised she thought it was a hoax and waited several days to verify it before contacting the family.
Natalie said she was shocked to be chosen.
‘‘I didn’t believe it at first,’’ she said.
While Natalie is a little nervous about speaking in front of a crowd, she is keen to befriend the other child ambassadors, including children from Oman, Serbia and Guatemala, and to learn about their countries.
Mrs Lieschke said Natalie was an ideal representative for her school, and for Australia.
‘‘She is a very big-hearted girl, gentle, very loyal. She is constantly supportive of everyone, not only her friends and her class, but everyone.’’