Skip to main content

Curtin students awarded prestigious Global Voices scholarships

Media release

Two Curtin University students will represent Australia as part of important international discussions to improve the health of people seeking asylum and living in remote communities after being awarded prestigious Global Voices scholarships.

Rebecca and James pointing at a world map

Doctor of Philosophy, Social Work and Social Policy student Rebecca Field, aged 27, will attend the Organisation of Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) Forum in Paris in May 2019 and Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery student James Leigh, aged 20, will participate in the World Health Organisation’s World Health Assembly in Geneva in May 2019.

Curtin University Deputy Vice-Chancellor Academic Professor Jill Downie congratulated the Curtin students on being recognised among Australia’s brightest young talents and joining the network of Global Voices alumni.

“The Global Voices scholarships provide students the opportunity to take part in significant international delegations discussing international issues, and provide their own insights into how they believe they can help make the world a better place,” Professor Downie said.

“Rebecca and James have their own valuable contributions to make and I look forward to hearing how their ideas to improve the health and wellbeing of people seeking asylum and living in remote communities are received on the world stage.”

Mrs Field said she was excited for the opportunity to develop her skills and knowledge in order to better influence policies concerning people seeking asylum and other policy areas in the future, but also have greater ability to collaborate on an international scale.

“As a social worker, I share a common goal with the OECD in wanting to contribute to the implementation of policies that will assist the holistic wellbeing of all people,” Mrs Field said.

“My research hopes to improve public policies for people seeking asylum and this scholarship will allow me to contribute my findings to the important global discussion about how host nations should respond to recent increases in the number of people seeking asylum worldwide.”

Mr Leigh, who is a third-year medical student, said he was ambitious about changing people’s lives and promoting the health of society, specifically remote indigenous communities.
“In the future, I plan to work within regional communities here in Australia and internationally where I hope to be able to help improve the health of the people from within the communities I’m working in,” he said.

“This opportunity to speak with influential people from the World Health Organisation will be a valuable experience and assist me in achieving my goal of making a difference in people’s lives and the world on greater scale.”

In addition to attending the respective international conferences, both Curtin students also joined 10 other young Australians at a three-day pre-departure briefing in Canberra, where they met with Australian Government officials, senior academics and policy experts.

Global Voices is a not-for profit organisation that is committed to nurturing the next generation of Australian leaders by providing practical experience in foreign policy and international relations.

Since its establishment in 2011, more than 200 young people have been supported by Global Voices to attend over 50 international summits to represent Australia.

For more information about Global Voices, visit here.