Meet your 2019 APEC Voices of the Future Delegates - Dukeofed

Meet your 2019 APEC Voices of the Future Delegates

Find out about APEC Voices of The Future and about each of the Delegates representing Australia below.

About APEC 2019 Voices of the Future

Founded in 2007, APEC Voices of the Future is a youth meeting for exchanges among young students from each economy held concurrently with the APEC Summit, aiming to let young students know more about APEC, expand their horizons, stimulate their enthusiasm for taking on the roles of leaders, and promote in-depth cultural exchanges among countries.

The Voices of the Future program brings together young people with potential for leadership and making a difference in society, and exposes them to the real-life deal-making process of world leaders, inspiring them to do the same with their own ideas.

APEC in Chile

  •  APEC represents 60% of world GDP and nearly 40% of global population.
  •  In 2017, the APEC region grew by 4.1%, up from 3.4% in 2016.
  •  APEC represented 64% of Chile’s exchange with the world, equivalent to US$86,103 million in 2017.
  •  Of the total exchange in 2017, US$47,695 million are exports to APEC and US$38,408 million are imports from the APEC region.
  •  69% of Chilean exports go to APEC, with an average annual growth of 8% between 1994 and 2017.
  •  58% of investments in Chile come from the APEC region.
  •  28% of Chile’s foreign investments go to APEC.
  •  5,209 Chilean companies exported to the APEC region, which is equivalent to 64% of country’s exporters (2017).

https://www.apecchile2019.cl/apec/apec-chile/apec-in-figures

The Australian APEC Delegates

Ashleigh Mansfield – Group Educator

Bio:

Ashleigh has been selected as Educator of the Australian delegation to APEC 2019. She lives in Brisbane and has a Bachelor of Business Management (Economics and Human Resource Management) from The University of Queensland. Ashleigh works for Brisbane City Council and has recently moved into a new role looking after the governance of Council, Committees and Civic Cabinet. In her previous role as an International Relations Officer in the Lord Mayor’s Administration and Engagement office she delivered the 2019 Asia Pacific Cities Summit and Mayors’ Forum and led the Young Professionals' Forum. Ashleigh believes it is deeply important to promote in-depth cultural exchanges to encourage mutual understanding and cooperation, and has a great understanding of the value of youth forums and the great impact these discussions can have.

 

What do you hope to achieve and learn from participating in the APEC Voices of the Future 2019 in Santiago, Chile?

  • I hope to further develop my knowledge of international relations, specifically relating to the 21 APEC member economies, strength in thought leadership and ability to connect with a diverse range of people.
  • In my role as an International Relations Officer at Brisbane City Council, the largest local government in Australia, I contributed to delivering the 2019 Asia Pacific Cities Summit (2019APCS) and Mayors’ Forum, the region’s premier Summit that brings together business, industry and cities to enable them to build relationships and contribute to the success and sustainability of our cities into the future.
  • Having witnessed city-to-city dialogue identifying common challenges, I am looking forward to learning how forums such as APEC 2019 assist country-to-country relations and the formation of urban policies to move our governing institutions forward.
  • Attending the APEC Voices of the Future 2019 in Santiago, Chile will be an incredible opportunity. As Educator I look forward to actively participating by leveraging my experience to support discussion, enriching my networks and contributing to a forum of great significance.

 

As a young person, what is your perspective of the theme: “Connecting People, Building the Future”. How can you contribute in your home economy?

  • As someone in their early-career, I believe that ‘Connecting People, Building the Future’ is a critical task that can be achieved, though perhaps in reverse. In ‘building the future’ we must encourage open-minded conversations and the sharing of perspectives by ‘connecting people’ and facilitating platforms for collaboration between current and future leaders. APEC Voices of the Future is a special platform offering the opportunity for young people to learn from, and influence, the leaders of today.
  • Beyond dialogues with leadership, it is especially important for young people to forge connections with peers both domestically and internationally. Young people today are highly engaged in economic and political issues concerning APEC member countries and the related policies shaping the Asia Pacific region. Therefore, in today’s physical and political environment, forming international networks lays strong foundations for young people to achieve widespread, future change.
  • As Educator, my experience in local government and the 2019APCS Young Professionals’ Forum will assist in framing discussions to enable the delegates to make considered, balanced and exciting contributions. I will encourage and empower all delegates to challenge the questions posed, consider all points of view and create valuable and lasting contributions in what might be a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.
  • In my home economy of Brisbane, Australia, I will contribute before and after APEC Voices of the Future 2019 in many ways. I have strong networks with APEC Voices of the Future alumni, young professional associations and networks, and university engagement faculties.
Aaron Zee – Delegate

Bio:

I grew up in WA and VIC and am now studying law, commerce and Mandarin at the ANU in Canberra. I've also studied at Tsinghua University, Singapore Management University and Moscow State University. I am passionate about international relations, history, sustainability, travel and food. My hobbies include playing the didgeridoo and cycling.

My aim for this conference is to form as many lasting connections with other delegates as possible and learn about their political/economic perspectives and trade policies. I hope to one day be a Trade Commissioner for Australia, so this conference will be a fantastic opportunity in the right direction.

What do you hope to achieve and learn from participating in the APEC Voices of the Future 2019 in Santiago, Chile?

Partaking in the APEC ‘Voices of the Future’ 2019 will enable me to achieve 5 objectives:

  • Build networks with future leaders in the Asia-Pacific region, which will enhance my career prospects in international relations and fundamentally improve my ability to engage with our regional neighbours. I speak proficient Mandarin Chinese and Indonesian, and have lived/worked/studied in China, Taiwan and Singapore. My experiences in the region and in cross-cultural settings will be beneficial when engaging with other delegates on complex topics.
  • Deepen my understanding of the perspectives of foreign youth on APEC-related issues of trade, governance, strategic issues, technology, education and the environment. This will enable me to further my insights into our region, which will benefit Australia’s cooperation with APEC member countries in the future.
  • Represent Australia in group dialogue on pertinent issues, which will be fundamental to my personal development as a leader. It will also enable me to refine my public speaking and negotiation skills.
  • Learn more about Chile and the South American region. Australia has limited interaction with the South American continent due to the sharing of similar export markets of agricultural products and minerals, as well as the factors of geographic distance and language/cultural barriers. I believe it to be beneficial for Australia to better understand the region and gain a greater appreciation for how we may cooperate in the future.
  • Learn from and hear from major political and business leaders.

 

As a young person, what is your perspective of the theme: “Connecting People, Building the Future”. How can you contribute in your home economy?

  • The theme of ‘Connecting People, Building the Future’ of this year’s APEC ‘Voices of the Future’ is particularly crucial for Australia’s economic prosperity and stability in the years to come. Along with China, our largest trading partners are overwhelmingly APEC nations, which is why we must understand the economic, political and cultural circumstances informing their trade policies.
  • I was fortunate enough to receive the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade ‘New Colombo Plan Scholarship’ to study at Singapore Management University, where I learnt about comparative law, intellectual property law and shipping business. These three subjects gave me a fantastic framework in which to understand regional trade and government, which I hope to utilise when relating to the perspectives of other delegates of APEC from around the Asia-Pacific.
  • Barriers to the free market economy have arisen and continue to arise in the form of trade sanctions between APEC nations, such as: USA-Russia, USA-China and South Korea-Japan. As such, I believe the importance of connecting youth across our region is increasingly important for future generations, as we must understand our neighbours in order to uphold regional institutions like APEC and strengthen economic ties, not undermine them.
  • I will contribute in my home economy by utilising the newfound connections and knowledge gained from the APEC ‘Voices of the Future’ in my future career. I will most likely be working in an international law firm in Jakarta, Indonesia in January 2020, where I will be focusing on Foreign Direct Investment laws that will enable more cross-border trade between Indonesia and the region. My APEC experience will put me in good stead for understanding economic and trade policies in South East Asia, which I will be able to employ in my legal role in Jakarta. It is my career goal to one day be a Trade Commissioner for the Australian government, in order to enable Australian businesses to develop supply chains and operations in the Asia-Pacific region and enable Asia-Pacific businesses to do likewise in Australia. As a Trade Commissioner I hope to increase the export market of Australia’s goods and services to the Asia-Pacific region.
Jeanette Chan - Delegate

Bio:

Jeanette Chan is a Gold Duke of Edinburgh’s International Awardee and is currently studying a Bachelor of Commerce majoring in Economics and Management at the University of Melbourne. She currently leads the Melbourne Microfinance Initiative, a student-led organisation that provides pro-bono consulting services to underserved not-for-profits globally, and is the Chief Marketing Officer at Robogals Global, an international not-for-profit that empowers young women to pursue careers in STEM through educational initiatives. She has previously worked at World Vision researching gender-sensitive programming, at EY in human services consulting, and at the Victorian Department of Jobs, Precincts and Regions in inclusive economic assessment. Jeanette also currently works at Giant Leap Fund, Australia’s first venture capital fund that is 100% dedicated to investing in impact startups. She is interested in the application of economics to development, health and human services and broader social policy, and aspires to continue building the capacities of individuals and organisations to drive positive social change.

 

What do you hope to achieve and learn from participating in the APEC Voices of the Future 2019 in Santiago, Chile? 

  • As a curious and purpose-driven individual, I am particularly interested in building and fostering relationships with other youth delegates at APEC Voices of the Future 2019.
  • Having grown up across both Singapore and Australia, I understand first-hand how cultural context and the local political and socio-economic climate can drastically shape our individual perspectives. And in an increasingly polarised world, I believe it is more important than ever to listen to our counterparts and truly seek to understand their perspectives instead of making assumptions.
  • I am fascinated by APEC’s approach to intergovernmental dialogue, especially its non-binding nature. My understanding is that it can ease pressure on leaders to commit to binding agreements, and can foster a more collaborative and open dialogue alongside any sensitive matters that may otherwise be in play. I am excited by the prospect of seeing this in action, and of learning more about how this relatively unorthodox approach may be applied in other organisations to navigate what can be polarising issues - such as social and economic inclusion, an area I care deeply about and work through my numerous endeavours to address.

As a young person, what is your perspective of the theme: “Connecting People, Building the Future”. How can you contribute in your home economy?

  • The theme “Connecting People, Building the Future” excites me, because this directly aligns with my vision that by fostering inclusive and impactful communities, that we are able to tackle wicked problems and realise a more sustainable and equitable future for all.
  • I believe it highlights the need to be open-minded and embrace perspectives different from our own. Instead of focusing on our differences, we should celebrate our common ground to work together towards a brighter future. It is my hope that this approach will help us to overcome systemic and deep-rooted issues like gender and income equality, climate change and an increasingly digital society.
  •  I lead a number of different organisations addressing this very theme, including promoting gender equality in STEM through my role as Chief Marketing Officer at Robogals Global, an international not-for-profit.
  •  I am also the President of the Melbourne Microfinance Initiative, Australia’s first and largest student-led microfinance organisation that provides pro-bono consulting services to underserved microfinance institutions and not-for-profits globally, and equips university students with the skills to create a positive social impact in their personal and professional endeavours. Over the last 9 years, we have completed 30 projects in 12 countries, primarily in the Asia Pacific. Our focus countries this year include the Philippines, Indonesia, Peru and Australia - all APEC economies.
  • I seek to leverage newfound perspectives developed at Voices of the Future to not only inform that work we do as an organisation to maximise outcomes for the communities that we serve, but I am also excited about starting conversations with these organisations about how they can more actively drive positive change.
  • As I graduate university in 2020, I am keen to pursue a socially-impactful career, likely in state government, where I hope to continue building the capacities of individuals and organisations to drive positive social change. It is my hope that by bringing people together in an impact community, we can amplify our collective impact for the brighter future.
Katerina Chen - Delegate

Bio:

Katerina is a Gold Duke of Edinburgh awardee, and is currently studying a Bachelors of Laws/International studies. Last year, she exchanged at Shanghai Jiao Tong University, being sponsored by the Australian government through the New Colombo Plan. She was also the sole receipt to the 2018 Lee Lau Shiu Hing Accounting scholarship. She is involved in her local council’s Youth Advisory Committee, and just recently went to represent them at the NSW Youth Council Conference, winning the annual social change initiative pitching competition. She had previously been involved in her university’s United Nations society, acting as a mentor and facilitator to their ‘Discover Model United Nations’ program. Later this year she will be interning at KPMG. She is passionate about social change, international relations and economics, and aspires to create genuine change in society.

What do you hope to achieve and learn from participating in the APEC Voices of the Future 2019 in Santiago, Chile?

  • I am particularly interested in APEC Voices of the Future as it provides its participants the opportunity to explore a new environment with a specific focus on business, leadership and international relations. I am deeply passionate about these areas
  • Through this event, I hope to develop my abilities in communication, especially with those from differing backgrounds, and forge strong international relationships for years to come.

As a young person, what is your perspective of the theme: “Connecting People, Building the Future”. How can you contribute in your home economy?

  • The foundation of connections and genuine development within our society derives from our ability to effectively collaborate and communicate. I believe that the first step to achieving this is creating a sense of community, on both local and international level.
  • This year, I had the privilege of being selected by my local council (Georges River Council) to be a member of their Youth Advisory Committee. This group consists of young passionate individuals who meet to discuss a range of topics, and monitor and evaluate polices and legislation affecting children and young people. Specifically, our youth council is hoping to tackle problem areas such as identity, sustainable growth and inclusive diversity – areas that align with APEC’s interests. In September, I will be attending the New South Wales Youth Council Conference as a representative of my council, and be taking part in discussing the progression of various community youth-led initiatives within our state! Through this commitment, I hope to bring genuine development to my city.
  • To create an economic contribution to Australia, I believe areas of globalization and international relations between nations are viable areas of pursuit. In fact, as student studying a combined degree of Law/International Studies, I hope to engage in this area for my professional career in the future.
  • Last year I was privileged to be sponsored by the Australian government by receiving a financial grant ‘New Colombo Plan’. This grant is given specifically to nurture Asia-pacific relations between Australian students. This was given to me as I was one of the ten students selected UNSW to embark on the ‘Antai Global Summer Program’, an international business immersion program to Shanghai last year. This trip entailed company visits to business such as Volkswagen Ag and Ctrip, and international business classes at Shanghai Jiao Tong University, one of the most reputable universities in Asia.
  • This exchange taught me the value of initiating wider connections on an international basis, and the economical understanding of sustainability and growth.

 

Lily Kennedy - Delegate

Bio:

I'm a Bachelor of Business - International student with a major in Public Relations at QUT in Brisbane. My passions are social enterprise, economic development, distribution of aid, international relations and communication.

What do you hope to achieve and learn from participating in the APEC Voices of the Future 2019 in Santiago, Chile?

  • Participating in APEC Voices of the Future 2019 will be a phenomenal opportunity for me to represent fellow Australian youth and hear, at a regional level, about the challenges and opportunities facing our region. Achieving a true understanding of these challenges and opportunities from the perspective of 21 other countries will be an unrivalled opportunity to gain insight into the perspectives of other cultures and witness the difficult decisions world leaders must make.
  • In addition, as an aspiring diplomat for Australia, APEC VOF 2019 would provide me with an opportunity to see my planned career in action, network with future contacts, and build relevant skills. The exposure to negotiation and deal-making of world leaders and youth alike would be an incredible opportunity and would provide real-world experience I couldn’t otherwise gain.
  • The host country of Chile also provides a unique opportunity to visit and learn about South America. While Asian relations are often emphasised, there are few opportunities to learn about South America and after learning Spanish at school I am particularly interested in this host location.
  • While all three of Chile’s priorities interest me, I feel ‘Women, SMEs and Inclusive Growth’ is an area I feel I can offer particular insight into from the Australian perspective. My work at the Australian Centre for Philanthropy and Nonprofit Studies has allowed me to delve into the research of social outcomes and achieving meaningful impact. I mentor young people in a variety of settings from entrepreneurship programs to one-on-one sessions and would have the opportunity to share and implement my learnings.
  • As President of Enactus QUT, I support student-run social enterprises in the areas of STEM skills, indigenous pride, mental health, and refugee settlement.
  • I am also the Vice President of Women in Business, a group that aims to empower, equip and excite female students from all faculties to connect with their career ambitions and achieve success. One goal I hope to achieve from participating in APEC VOF 2019 is to learn how other countries are addressing the area of ‘Women, SMEs and Inclusive Growth’ and gain inspiration from other young leaders.

 

As a young person, what is your perspective of the theme: “Connecting People, Building the Future”. How can you contribute in your home economy?

  • I believe this theme encapsulates the way forward for the region. To me, it promotes mutual understanding, inclusivity and opportunity through personal connection yet allows digital innovation a place in achieving this.
  • The term ‘building’ would mean different things for different economies - whether they are developing or looking to accelerate growth - but the shared and collaborative vision remains: promoting cooperation.
  • In my home economy, I can contribute by using the stories from my participation to share perspectives and knowledge; promoting an interest in ‘building the regional future’ among Australians.
Matthew Russell - Delegate

Bio:

Matthew is a Gold Duke of Edinburgh’s International Awardee, and is currently studying a Bachelor of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering (Hons), and a Bachelor of Project Management at the University of Sydney. He has been involved with the global Scouting Movement for over a decade, and has recently returned from a semester interning in industry. Moving forward, Matthew is keen to work with the diverse range of international delegates to understand different contexts, and how their dynamics affect global relationships and project implementation.

What do you hope to achieve and learn from participating in the APEC Voices of the Future 2019 in Santiago, Chile?

  • On an overall level, I would hope that together we would be able to collectively learn and discuss challenges faced by different groups to create a roadmap for how upcoming issues can be faced, and transformed into opportunities. Providing a youth perspective on the concepts that are sure to impact us all, is my key aim.
  • On a personal level, I am to greatly develop my understanding of culture, and skills of leadership. From a long history of involvement within Scouts, Duke of Edinburgh's International Award, and studying management at university, I have been fortunate with many great opportunities to learn and practice leadership.
  • Being a part of this forum provides an incredible opportunity to experience leadership on a scale that I have yet to be a part of, but passionately seek to be.

As a young person, what is your perspective of the theme: “Connecting People, Building the Future”, and how can you contribute in your home economy?

  • As technology has progressed, many of the barriers which once formed immense challenges, have been removed, or negated through the advent of modern transportation, and more recently, digital innovations. Because of this, the last barrier in connecting people is no longer from an absence of technological ability, but rather ideological or emotional barriers that people set up for themselves.
  • This theme perfectly targets this idea, and it is important that the youth of the future can work together to challenge many of the existing assumptions and ideals, to bring people closer together, and remove barriers to future success. While connecting people at high level events performs a great service, we must do more to encourage people to work together, and bring the world closer, for everyone.
  • Part of the main barrier to connecting the world, I believe, is existing processes. Relying on procedures formed over many years may have established records of success, yet with the great communication opportunities and technologies afforded to us, are they really the most effective?
  • I believe that we as the youth, and future leaders of the world, have a key responsibility to make use of the skills and environment that we grew up with, and transform existing processes, into those ready for the future. Whether at home or abroad, we can always seek to promote and share ways to get more people involved, because the more diverse the backgrounds and ideas that form the solution, the more encompassing that solution can be.

 

Sophie Condon - Delegate

Bio:

I am a third year student at the University of Sydney undertaking a Bachelor of International and Global Studies. I lived in Houston, Texas for the past year on exchange. Currently I am also interning at Human Rights Watch. I am very interested in international relations, the global economy and diplomacy. I have always loved things like model UN and am very excited to attend APEC 2019.

What do you hope to achieve and learn from participating in the APEC Voices of the Future 2019 in Santiago, Chile?

  • In today’s extremely interconnected and collaborative world, the ability to discuss, learn about and negotiate highly important issues with fellow enthusiastic global citizens can allow significant progress to be made to better society.
  • Being able to represent Australia at the APEC Voice for the Future 2019 will allow me to use my current knowledge and enthusiasm to: educate others, expand my horizons and gain a deeper understanding on the work of other countries as well as APEC in creating positive change.
  •  I hope to gain a much greater understanding of policies of smaller APEC countries on these topics. I also want to learn specifically how leaders and businesses are collaborating toward the objectives set at the summit. In doing so, this can assist the future leaders in understanding what the next steps should be.
  • I have previously undertaken a sustainability advocacy project in Houston, Texas which involved meeting with and providing recommendations to both the city government and major local businesses, which allowed me to firmly understand the importance of cooperation and inclusive between these sectors to accomplish goals, such as those set out for the APEC 2019 summit.
  • I would also be very interested to learn about the views and ideas of youth delegates from other APEC countries, as well as fellow delegates from Australia. Many of the issues currently impacting the world, such as the rise of digital society and climate sustainability have significantly transformed in recent years, becoming more transnational in nature.
  • While the current leaders and businesspeople have taken significant steps in these areas, having the opportunity to learn about the amazing life experiences of young people from fellow APEC countries in an very globalised and connected world will provide an enriched understanding of global society and will ensure mutual understanding and cooperation in the creation of a youth declaration.
  • My participation in the University of Sydney Global Citizenship Award, Human Rights Watch, the Doerr Institute for New Leaders, Bronze, Silver and Gold levels of the Duke of Edinburgh award as well as my volunteering experiences in Tanzania and Australia have allowed me to gain strong communication, leadership, cultural understanding and deal-making skills which will ensure I am able to learn and achieve the most out of this amazing and unique opportunity.

 

As a young person, what is your perspective of the theme: “Connecting People, Building the Future”. How can you contribute in your home economy?

  • From my experiences as a young person living in Australia and traveling to various countries, I firmly believe that globalisation and connectedness has been extremely beneficial for global society and that in order to make significant progress for the future, businesses, countries, leaders and individuals must remain connected.
  • I view the theme for the 2019 APEC summit as very relevant and important for young people to engage with.
  • Australia is a very diverse, resource-rich and multicultural country. While some of our successes as a country are the result of domestic policies, resources and businesses, it is undeniable that other countries and forums such as APEC have significantly contributed to the success of Australia. In the 2017 Foreign Policy White Paper, the Australian government emphasised the importance of maintaining global markets, connecting people and resisting protectionism. Additionally, Australia’s continued involvement in various international institutions and forums on issues such as economics, human rights, climate change, security and trade has shown that Australia is willing to continue working with others and connecting people to address pressing transnational issues to protect the future.
  • Within Australia, I am involved and volunteer with various organisations including university societies, Human Rights Watch, Model United Nations, the Global Citizenship Award and forums on issues such as children’s rights. Additionally, I have been in contact with individuals and organisations in the United States and United Kingdom that engage with international relations and the global economy. Through these connections, I am able to contribute the ideas learnt at the APEC Voices of the Future 2019 to ensure a mutual understanding of pressing issues amongst current and future leaders to work toward effective action.

 

Read More Here: https://dukeofed.com.au/events/apec-voices-of-the-future/apec-2019-voices-of-the-future/

 

 

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