Last week we celebrated this year's Commonwealth theme 'A Young Commonwealth'. I was delighted to see supporters of CYNZ attend many events across New Zealand, and indeed, internationally, to celebrate this important occasion. What struck me was the amount of new faces that were present at these events.
As The Queen said in her Commonwealth Day message, the Commonwealth can only flourish if its ideas and ideals continue to be young and fresh and relevant to all generations. This is also relevant to organisations like CYNZ. In our first official year of existence, we've found what does and doesn't work. I'm proud of the work my team has done to tighten up our processes and future proof the organisation - work that will be presented on our website ahead of our Annual General Meeting later this month.
I do hope you have enjoyed the coverage from events celebrating Commonwealth Week.
With kind regards,
Aaron Hape Executive Director
Commonwealth Youth New Zealand
Commonwealth Day celebrated across the world
Hundreds of people turned out to attend Commonwealth Day celebrations across the country. Our friends at the Royal Commonwealth Society Auckland had a huge turnout at their annual service, and hundreds attended the National Observance in Wellington.
This year, as part of the Commonwealth Secretariat's "Fly A Flag For The Commonwealth" initiative, Scouts New Zealand raised the Commonwealth flag on Wellington's waterfront.
New Zealand was also represented at the London ceremony by Alice Wang. Alice, who has shared her thoughts on the ceremony on our website is a Rhodes Scholar and was chosen by the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association to attend this service at Westminster Abbey in the presence of The Queen.
If you have already done so, thank you for your RSVP to the AGM. If you have not and you wish to attend, for security purposes I encourage you to do so by Thursday, 26 March.
For now, please see details of the AGM:
Date: 6pm, Tuesday, 31 March Location: New Zealand Parliament, Executive Wing meeting room 2.024 RSVP:firstname.lastname@example.org by Thursday, 26 March
We're pleased to announce that our guest of honour will be Aruna Abeygoonesekera, Honorary Consul for Sri Lanka to New Zealand. Mr Abeygoonesekera will give a brief address on Sri Lanka's involvement with the Commonwealth and what he sees for the future of Sri Lanka-New Zealand relations.
CommonYouth Australia officially launched
CommonYouth Australia held its official launch event on 27 February at the Australia National University. CommonYouth Australia is a youth-led initiative that provides opportunities for youth engagement and a platform for discussion around Commonwealth principles. Attendees were treated to addresses by three greatly inspiring young leaders: Nipuni Wijewickrema, 2014 Young Canberra Citizen of the Year; Alan Wu, former Chair of Australia's National Youth Council; and Laura Jon, Australia's 2014 Youth Representative to the United Nations. Congratulations to CommonYouth Australia on a successful launch!
2015 essay competition now open
Are you a writer? Interested in the world around you? Want your voice to be heard by others? The Queen's Commonwealth Essay Competition is open to young writers aged 18 and under who are living in, or a national of, a Commonwealth country or territory. The Royal Commonwealth Society is inviting young people to share their hopes and concerns for the future, thereby generating an important youth perspective and Commonwealth wide dialogue as the international community gathers to set development goals for the next 15 years.
2015 Commonwealth Youth Award winners announced
Congratulations to Julius Shirima, the 2015 winner of the pan-Commonwealth Youth Award. Julius founded a microventure capital fund and entrepreneur network that helps young businesspeople turn enterprising concepts into profitable ventures. As a result of his efforts, thousands of young people in Tanzania are today empowered, generating income and enjoying meaningful work. Congratulations must also go to the regional division winners.