November saw me travel to London to participate in the inaugural meeting of The Queen's Young Leader's programme advisory panel. 11 young leaders from across the Commonwealth had the immense job of reading through just over 1800 applications and judging the creativity, ingenuity, dedication, and at times, the risk associated with running projects in the applicant's community.
While reading through these applications I could only be struck by the wide scope of projects being led by young people - from pro-LGBTI campaigns in Nigeria to anti-violence workshops in South Africa to nation-wide civics education classes in Canada, the stories were absolutely inspiring. It was amazing to read of the often-unrecognised work going on in every corner of our Commonwealth.
While in London I also had the opportunity to call on the Commonwealth Secretariat, the Royal Commonwealth Society, and the Foreign and Commonwealth Office. My thanks must go to Helen Jones, Hilary Greengrass, and Carolyn Jack at the RCS for hosting me for a valuable and beneficial discussion on how best to progress the aims of the RCS and CYNZ.
CYNZ has also hosted a number of discussions over the last month, including a dialogue with some of our members on the values and goals of CYNZ and how they can be better articulated. Thank you to Sandra Ivanov, Emma Stilwell, and Patrick Lindsay for leading these important conversations.
From all of us here at CYNZ, I wish you warm seasons greetings and a happy New Year. I hope you have the opportunity to recharge for a busy year in 2015!
Aaron Hape Executive Director
Commonwealth Youth New Zealand
12 Reasons to Support Commonwealth Immigration
In early November, Commonwealth Exchange released a report which outlined a number of recommendations to make it easier for Commonwealth citizens to travel to the United Kingdom. You can read the full report here.
CHOGM 2015 officially launched
Malta's Prime Minister, Joseph Muscat, and Commonwealth Secretary-General, Kamalesh Sharma, officially launched the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting to be held in Malta next November. The theme will be 'The Commonwealth - adding global value'.
Next year's CHOGM will see the return of the Youth, People's, and Business forums, but will also see the introduction of a Women's Forum. Read more about the meeting here.
RCS Essay Competition winners meet the Duchess of Cornwall
Congratulations to the winners of the 2014 Royal Commonwealth Essay Competition. Pictured are the junior and senior winners after their award ceremony with the Duchess of Cornwall, who presented certificates on behalf of The Queen, at Buckingham Palace.