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The Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award – Australia is proud to have multiple Gold Award Alumni representing Australia in this year’s Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Summit in Bangkok, Thailand.  

You can learn more about our delegates in the profiles below. 

Name: Xing Yee Wong 

 Your State/Territory: Victoria 

 Tell us about your journey with The Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award – Australia: Having attended British international schools across the Middle East and Southeast Asia, I was fortunate to complete the Duke of Edinburgh Award throughout diverse cultural contexts. I first received my Bronze and Silver at the British School Muscat, Oman— where the Award facilitated a number of unique opportunities to directly contribute to the local Omani community and environment. This included organising several beach clean-ups and ecosystem conservation initiatives along the coast of Oman. At Jerudong International School, Brunei, I received the Gold Award. Our group embarked on a month-long trip to Kenya — including a 5-day expedition to Mt. Kenya, renovating a primary school in Nanyuki and conservation efforts of Northern White Rhinos in Ol Pejeta Conservancy. 

What was your motivation to join the 2022 APEC summit? My motivation to join the 2022 APEC Summit stems from a unique personal and professional background. I am a Malaysian-Chinese-Australian born on Borneo Island but grew up across the Netherlands, Denmark, Oman and Brunei Darussalam. My cross-cultural upbringing has shaped a natural interest in how regions of the world cooperate in advancing shared goals. Moreover, as a Research Officer at the ANU School of Regulation and Global Governance, I recognise that understanding regulation is essential to understanding governance in our globalised world. In joining this year's APEC summit, I hope to gain a deeper understanding of the role of APEC and its member economies in shaping policy and advancing regional economic integration. 

What are you most looking forward to at the 2022 APEC summit?  I look forward to participating in the incubator of ideas which the APEC forum creates — bringing together global policy-makers, business leaders and academia to work toward common goals. Especially as the first in-person APEC summit (post-Covid), I am excited for the opportunity to engage directly with the key stakeholders and governance processes which make up the region's premier economic forum. I particularly look forward to connecting with fellow youth leaders through the APEC Voices of the Future program — utilising the platform to voice issues that affect the future of the 21 APEC economies and the region as a whole. 

Name: Jessica Wayne

Your state/territory: Victoria 

Tell us about your journey with The Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award – Australia: My journey with Duke of Ed began with the Gold Award which I completed through my high school, Newhaven College, from 2014-2016. The highlights included my Residential Project, which I completed in a rural community in Malawi and the Voluntary Service component where I volunteered in my community at my local library. Completing my Duke of Ed Gold Award empowered me as a young person to set goals, engage with my community and build important life skills that I’ve been able to build upon since.

What was your motivation to join the 2022 APEC summit?:  As a young person and Duke of Ed Gold Award Alumni from Australia, I believe young people are calling for the ‘open, connected, balanced’ approach to diplomacy. As a young Australian I hope to be a voice of the future and a leader in advancing Australia’s and the regions common interests, and there is no better place like the APEC summit, the most influential meeting of business and government in the Asia Pacific, to learn how different nations engage to achieve APEC’s goals. I would also like to understand how APEC countries plan to accelerate regional economic integration post COVID-19, and how they plan to overcome the issues COVID-19 created.

What are you most looking forward to at the 2022 APEC summit?: I am most looking forward to meeting the other APEC Voices of the Future Delegates from other countries. I am looking forward to engaging with them and the draft of the Youth Declaration. I am also looking forward to the many panel discussions, workshops and attending the APEC CEO Summit.

Name: Katerina Chen

Your state/territory: NSW

Educational/Work Background:  I am a fourth year Business (Marketing) and Law. I currently work as a Junior Clerk at a prominent Barristers’ chamber, and have previously worked at KPMG in the Internal Auditing team. I have previously been the recipient of the New Colombo Plan and the sole recipient of the 2018 Lee Lau Shiu Hing Scholarship in Accounting.

Tell us about your journey with The Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award – Australia: Completing the DOFE Gold award was a life changing experience that taught me a range of valuable skills, from organisation and time management skills, to how to set up a tent and read a compass. I was privileged to complete my residential journey in Nasivikoso village, located in rural Fiji. During this trip, I aided the construction and refurbishment of their local elementary school. The highlight was being delved in Fijian culture, getting involved in traditions such as kava ceremonies, and experiencing first-hand the Fijian lifestyle.

What was your motivation to join the 2022 APEC summit? I am passionate about social justice, international relations, business and making a change in my community, shown through my roles as President of the UTS Banking and Finance Society, Consultant at UTS Consulting Club and Youth Advisor for my local council. This opportunity excites me as I am eager to represent my country on the global stage, and make a positive impact on both a local and international scale.

What are you most looking forward to at the 2022 APEC summit? I am extremely excited at the prospect of furthering my own knowledge and understanding about international relations, politics and world economy. In particular, I look forward to being involved in the creation of the Youth Declaration, and attending the CEO Summit. 

Name: Hamish Williams

Your state/territory: ACT

What was your motivation to join the 2022 APEC summit?:  The experience to join 2022 APEC summit is an opportunity of a lifetime. By being in the room with world leaders, senior officials, ABAC members and CEOs, young people are being brought to the table to help progress the future of the Asia Pacific region. After three years of the APEC Voices of the Future Program being held virtually, connecting with other youth delegates from APEC economies presents an opportunity to develop a deeper understanding of our region and issues affecting young people.

What are you most looking forward to at the 2022 APEC summit?:  Whilst attending the 2022 APEC summit, I am looking forward to observing and understanding how world leaders of Asia Pacific economies engage with one another to share best practices and advocate for economic cooperation.

I am also very much looking forward to working and engaging with the representatives from the host economy of Thailand, improving networks between our two nations.