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Global Voices scholars to tackle climate and gender issues at UN forums

Media release

Two Curtin University students will take to the international stage at important United Nations events to pursue their passions for gender equality and the environment after being awarded Global Voices scholarships.

Elise Christou and Alexander Jayasuria

Bachelor of Commerce (Economics) student Alexander Jayasuria will represent Australia as part of international discussions on climate at the United Nations COP26 summit this month while Bachelor of Laws Honours student Elise Christou will participate in the UN Commission on the Status of Women delegation next March.

As two of ten young Australians appointed Semester Two, 2021 Global Voices Scholars, the students will develop a policy paper with key recommendations about Australian public policy on topics related to the themes of the international forum they attend, while liaising with Australian government officials, senior academics, and experts.

Curtin University Deputy Vice-Chancellor Academic Professor Jill Downie congratulated the Curtin students on being selected by Global Voices, which has a proud track record of nurturing the next generation of Australian leaders by providing practical experience in foreign policy and international relations.

“By joining major international delegations targeting vital global issues, Alexander and Elise will play a direct role in achieving positive real-world change as they pursue their vision for a better future,” Professor Downie said.

“These two students have chosen to address two very different but equally important areas of public policy and it is exciting that their efforts at high level international forums can help shape policy outcomes both here in Australia and globally.”

Mr Jayasuria said he believed the key to fighting a problem as complex as climate change was global collaboration.

“Global Voices recognises the need for diplomacy and international harmony and through its scholarships provides a platform for emerging leaders to gain experience with the processes required to spark change,” Mr Jayasuria said.

“The insight and breadth of perspectives I will gain at the COP26 summit will fuel my future research and advocacy on sustainable development.

“Urgency is key at COP26 and this will likely be the conference that makes meaningful progress on the key climate-related financial and economic issues which are the focus of my research.”

Ms Christou said she was thrilled to participate in the 66th session of the UN Commission on the Status of Women, ahead of which she has drafted a submission to the UN containing strategic priorities to help achieve and sustain gender parity for future generations.

“I look forward to seizing this opportunity to participate in an international forum representing youth voices, particularly on the matter of women’s mental health, which is a subject I am passionate about,” Ms Christou said.

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.

For more information about Global Voices, visit here.