Our Comms Officer, Moneesha Reynolds attended the Future23 conference as an ABV representative earlier this month. She hosted a booth at the industry evening and spoke in a moderated discussion on what an organisation like ours has to offer young people interested in a career in International Affairs. Moneesha was also invited to attend the conference itself as a young person and engage in the professional development activities with the rest of the group.
Read her recount of the experience below:
"I'm still getting warm fuzzies thinking about this event. I was so honoured to be a part of Future23. I am so grateful to the Young Australians in International Affairs (YAIA) team who volunteer their time to make these events possible. I left feeling inspired by all the incredible ideas and the energy of the group and amazed at the group's maturity to discuss challenging topics. Everyone set aside their differences and found collaborative solutions in the development sessions. My group got the question of "How do we mitigate the threat of Nuclear weapons?" and I sat there in awe as their bright minds immediately started chipping away at such a huge conundrum.
Before these two days, I had found myself in a negative rut about the state of the world (climate crisis, political tension, living cost, etc.), but I feel a refreshed sense of optimism. It's easy to get lost in the swells of bad news and feel powerless about the world's future. It's much harder to hold onto hope, to lean into the strength of those around you and openly share your thoughts, but YAIA illuminated the path.
It's so rare after leaving studying to be surrounded by large groups of bright young people. Events like this that bring young people together are so important to remind us of how many incredible humans deeply care about the state of the world and are striving to make change.
It was fantastic to be invited onto a panel discussion for the industry evening networking event. My one word of advice for the young leaders in the room was “perseverance.” I encourage all young people to involve themselves in diverse volunteering opportunities and continue on their windy path to success against the odds. I am in the job I'm in right now by volunteering at an art gallery back in 2019! You never know where the connections you make will take you. These two days have ignited a new passion for me. I would love to attend more events focused on career development for young people and speak to how Australian Business Volunteers (ABV) can support them."