APEC 2017 Report By Eleanor Kirkpatrick – Dukeofed

APEC 2017 Report By Eleanor Kirkpatrick


Liam Jones

JONES LiamLiam is currently completing his Masters in National Security Policy at the Australian National University and has already completed a Bachelor of Arts with Majors in International and Political Studies and English from the University of New South Wales. Aside from his studies, Liam currently works as a Strategic Communications Consultant at global consultancy firm KPMG which focuses on making a positive impact in communities across the world. In addition to this, Liam has recently spent 12 months as a Contractor in the Department of Defence as a Strategic Communications Advisor in the Australia’s Bilateral Defence Initiative Program Office focusing on The United States Force Posture Initiatives and The Australia-Singapore Military Training Initiative. Liam is a member of Australian Strategic Policy Institute, Australian Institute for International Affairs and countless other associations regarding international relations, geopolitics and national security.

Eleanor Kirkpatrick

Eleanor Kirkpatrick Head Shot v2Eleanor is a Gold Duke of Edinburgh Awardee, having completed all three levels of the Award. Aside from these achievements, Eleanor has completed an International and Global Studies Bachelor’s Degree, majoring in Government and International Relations, with a French Studies minor at the University of Sydney. Throughout her degree, Eleanor attended the University of Geneva in Switzerland with a focus on political sciences and an in depth study of the UN and its associated systems, as she was awarded the Sydney University International Exchange Outbound Scholarship and a scholarship from the University of Geneva. Eleanor is involved in numerous NGO’s from humanitarian organisations like World Vision Australia and Oxfam, to environmental and social NGO’s such as Lifeline Suicide Prevention and Bush Heritage Australia. Eleanor participates in various forms of service such as her current involvement with UN Youth NSW and prior volunteering as Youth Leader for West Pymble Girl Guides and Girl Guides Association of Australia.

Robert Deppler

Robert HeadshotRobert is a Silver and Bronze Level Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award holder and is currently studying Bachelor of Laws and Bachelor of International and Global Studies majoring in Government and International relations at University of Sydney. He has completed courses in International Politics and Human Rights at the University of Oxford and University College London, and currently works in Government Relations. Robert has been awarded the Premiers Award for HSC and the Percival Sharp Memorial Prize for his academic merit in his final year of studies. Robert has also participated in volunteer work in Ecuador, including assistance in construction work for a school in Santa Marianita.

Georgia Eccles

Georgia Headshot OneGeorgia is another Gold Duke of Edinburgh Awardee currently studying both Bachelor of Science and Bachelor of International Development at the Australian National University. In addition to her studies, Georgia works as an Evening Programmes Supervisor for the Australian National Science and Technology Centre and is currently a Science Ambassador at the ANU. Georgia has completed an array of internships at a diverse group of NGOs including CARE Australia, Hamlin Fistula Ethiopia, the Australian Federal Parliamentary Group on Population and Development (PGDP) and The Australian National Council of Women, as well as volunteering with the UN Women National Committee.

Sophie Batey

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Sophie is currently in her 3rd year at the University of NSW completing a Bachelor of Arts, majoring in International Relations and Politics. During her degree, Sophie has also completed six months of International Exchange Program at the University of Navarra, Spain and has competed in various Model United Nations Conferences. In 2016, she competed in Canberra and in Sydney where she won ‘Most Diplomatic’ out of all in the Committee. In 2017, Sophie competed in a committee speaking both English and Spanish in Navarra, Spain. And in 2017 she was appointed member of the executive team for the 2018 Asia-Pacific Model United Nations (AMUNC) currently positioned as the Under-Secretary General for Logistics.

Catherine Pilley

catherine head shotCatherine is a Gold, Silver and Bronze Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award holder currently in her 5th year at Australian National University studying Bachelor of Laws (Honours) with Bachelor of Science majoring in Resource and Environmental Management. During her studies, Catherine also undertook a semester exchange at McGill University in Montreal and completed IARU Global Summer Program at the University of Tokyo. Catherine has undertaken various forms of community service including volunteer paralegal work at Kimberley Community Legal Services, Kununurra and Youth Law Centre ACT. She has also volunteered as a tour guide for the Museum of Australian Democracy at Old Parliament House and as a student volunteer for the Environmental Defenders Office ACT.


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Youth delegates and educators from 17 of the 21 APEC economies gathered in monsoonal Da Nang, Vietnam for a week of collaboration, cultural exchanges and good times. It was a great opportunity to represent not only Australia but also the Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award – Australia. Despite the devastation of Typhoon Damrey, we were welcomed by the generosity and friendliness of the Vietnamese people.

The significance of where we were truly dawned on us as we were greeted by a flurry of camera flashes upon entering Da Nang University for the Opening Ceremony. Our energy (though more so our height) seemed to attract local news crews and interviewers from every angle. Buzzing from the attention, we settled down for opening remarks from high-ranking Vietnamese officials and Voices of the Future coordinators to commence our week of addressing the theme, “Creating New Dynamism, Fostering a Shared Future.” If you asked me a week before what this theme meant, I could only give you a text book answer of which I didn’t entirely comprehend… fast forward a week, and I experienced the atmosphere of a dynamic and diverse group of young people all with the same ambition to work collectively for a prosperous and interconnected future.

We presented Australia’s position of encouraging social mobility, recognising gender equality as concurrent to economic prosperity and embracing technological and digital innovation, all whilst collaborating with other youth in our region. Our sentiments were echoed by the other economies and were reflected in the final youth declaration that we collectively drafted.

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Day 2 saw us escorted (by a police motorcade, no less!) throughout the Quan Province for a day of cultural learning. We visited the government-funded orphanage, Quang Nam Peace Village, where we were treated to a Vietnamese dance by a group of the girls there. In turn, the Australian, Canadian, New Zealand and Mexican delegations then performed some exhilarating performances of nursery rhymes and the Macarena, to which the entire orphanage and even the officials and media crew joined in for. We also enjoyed a guided tour of Tam Tanh City’s mural village, a seaside lunch and were treated to a lantern-making class.

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The CEO Summit occupied the following two days, in which we mixed with leading CEOs and political leaders from across the region. Highlights from the summit ranged from a panel discussion on digital innovation in rural Australia and other marginalised localities across the region between the Australian Prime Minister, the Hon. Malcolm Turnbull MP and COO of Facebook, Sheryl Sandberg to keynote addresses from President of the United States, Donald Trump and from President of the People’s Republic of China, Xi Jinping. It was surreal to be amongst such influential world leaders, which demonstrated the complexities and significance of diplomacy and inter-cultural partnerships in such an integrated and interconnected world. Further to this, the Australian youth delegates were afforded the opportunity to meet with our Trade Minister, the Hon. Steven Ciobo, where we gained a deeper understanding of Australia’s role in our region.

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We celebrated our final night in Vietnam at the Voices of the Future Closing Ceremony with emotional closing remarks, enthralling cultural performances and a lavish feast. Bidding farewell to the other delegates after a whirlwind of a week was bittersweet; we made lifelong bonds but were sure our paths would meet again. We learnt so much from each other on both personal and professional levels and it was reassuring to know that these bright minds will be those of our future political and business leaders across the region.

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By Eleanor Kirkpatrick

With thanks to the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award and the other Australian delegates: Sophie Batey, Robert Deppeler, Georgia Eccles, Liam Jones (Educator) and Cath Pilley


If you want to read the reports from the four other Australian representatives, head to the links below:

Sophie Batey Report

Robert Deppeler Report

Georgia Eccles Report

Liam Jones Report

Catherine Pilley Report