Opportunities for Young People Discussion with High Commissioner of Australia

New Delhi, December 2014

The Australian High Commission in New Delhi and the Commonwealth Society of India hosted a panel discussion on how India’s dynamic young people can find new opportunities to shape their world through the Commonwealth. The panel included Ghana’s High Commissioner to India – H.E. Samuel Panyin Yalley, the High Commissioner of New Zealand to India – H.E. Grahame Morton, Ms Aprajita Pandey – a Commonwealth Youth Worker Award winner, Ms Sudharshana Lakshm – a Vice Chairperson of the Commonwealth Youth Council, and Ms Avantika Aulakh – from the Electoral Commission of India.
Australia’s High Commissioner to India, Mr.Patrick Suckling, said the discussion would help encourage a new generation of young people in India to take an active interest in the Commonwealth, and explore new opportunities to participate in it. “The Commonwealth is not simply an historical entity – it plays an important role in promoting democracy and the rule of law, and in advancing the welfare of young people throughout the world,” Mr Suckling said.
The panel will focus on the Commonwealth’s work promoting democracy, human rights and the rule of law through several initiatives, including scholarship schemes and youth leadership programs, as well as its vital work in electoral management.

The Chairperson of the Commonwealth Society of India – Ms Shivani Wazir Pasrich said, “A Young Commonwealth is the Commonwealth’s theme for 2015. For me, youth is not just a number, it’s the equivalent of dynamism, so someone’s age – 16 or 61 – becomes irrelevant. Our endeavor is to enable people with a common past to come together and make a better future.” In 2015, the Australian Government will provide up to $600,000 to the Commonwealth Youth Program, which gives opportunities for young men and women in the Commonwealth to contribute to international youth policy. Australia will also provide up to $500,000 to the Commonwealth of Learning to educate and train Commonwealth citizens in developing countries.
The Commonwealth Society of India is working to bring Commonwealth values to young people in an appealing format. The Society is working with SWP Productions to make a film for the Malta Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in 2015, and is promoting the Commonwealth Essay Competition and the Queen’s Young Leaders Program to create additional platforms for engagement.

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