Last month at the Harvard Project for Asian and International Relations conference in Sydney, current first year Bachelor of Arts/Laws student Yasmin Poole led her team to win the UNICEF Impact Challenge for best refugee policy in regards to Manus and Nauru refugees.
The aspiring diplomat joined 600 delegates from countries around the world (such as India, Philippines, the United States, China and even Uzbekistan) and included students, individuals working for the UN and those running their own social enterprises.
Yasmin participated in the Security and Diplomacy track, focussing on issues such as the UN SDGs and the Australia-China relationship with figures like former Foreign Minister Bob Carr and CEO of Greenpeace.
The winning team proposed a host of short term, long term and societal engagement recommendations aimed towards Minister for Immigration Peter Dutton. These included redeveloping the current teaching program for young people in the camps, partnerships with other nations and regional organisations in the safe transportation of refugees, and even establishing refugee engagement opportunities like a ‘Refugee Youth Parliament'.
Yasmin credits her confidence to apply for the conference to her International Relations lecturer and tutor, Dr Tom Chodor, who she says has always supported her dream of becoming a diplomat.
“Learning International Relations at Monash really emphasised to me just how much I loved the topic, so even with the high calibre of applications I knew I had to apply. And so glad I did!”