Every year, prominent world leaders meet at the G20 Forum to discuss global issues and provide recommendations to shape the course of the world. In an effort to engage students and young experts with these global issues, the G200 Association hosts an annual G200 Youth Forum.
This year’s G200 Forum took place from 29 April – 3 May in Garmisch Partenkirchen, Germany. Nine outstanding Deakin University students took part in the international event, with Deakin students accounting for more than half of Australia’s representatives at the Forum.
For Deakin students Shriya Gupta, Callum Houghton and Daniel Tkaczuk, the experience was a once in a lifetime opportunity and a chance to express their thoughts on finance, security, healthcare and the environment on a global stage.
Shriya and Daniel attended the Youth Summit component of the Forum where they were served as Committee representatives, providing recommendations that are sent to G20 Heads of State and leading international organisations including the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the World Bank, the European Commission and others.
Shriya, a Bachelor of Commerce student from India, was thrilled to be part of the event. ‘I had to write a position paper and also submit an application for a position within the committee. I applied for a finance position and was accepted as part of the Upcoming Global Challenges Committee which consisted of 10 – 12 people.
‘My studies focus on accounting and finance, so I was very pleased to be in a finance position. I am a Drop-in station mentor at Deakin as well as a Deakin Cloud [online] mentor which I think helped in the application process.’
For Daniel, currently studying international studies and law, the idea of participating in such a prestigious event initially seemed out of reach. However, after reading the criteria, he decided that his skills and experience would be well suited. ‘I have worked for the Red Cross, I am President of the Ukraine Youth Association and am a Tech Adviser for the Cambodian NGO People Centre for Development and Peace, which I mentioned in my application.
‘On the first day, the Summit attendees were split into four or five different groups. Each group had a broad topic. Our topic was “What G20 countries could learn from developing countries”, and we focused on health care.
‘None of us really had any science or health knowledge so we decided to focus on a specific AIDS case study in South Africa, as one of the people in our Committee knew a lot about it.
‘The group encouraged me to present our outcomes to the entire Summit. This taught me to think on my feet. It was difficult to talk about something I didn’t really know about but I enjoyed learning something new. I learnt how to work in a team and also overcame the challenge of speaking to a group of people that weren’t necessarily English-speaking.’
Bachelor of International Studies student, Callum, participated in the Conference component of the Forum, which encouraged the discussion of global problems featured on the G20 agenda.
‘This was an avenue for the youth to be heard by the G20 leaders,’ Callum explained. ‘I wrote an article for the conference about economic sanctions and how I believe they’re unethical. It is a topic I wasn’t very familiar with so I had to do research from the ground up.
‘I was the Chairman of the World Politics and International Relations round table,’ he added. ‘My role involved ensuring each person kept to their scheduled time frame, I facilitated discussion and then presented a summary of our discussions.’
The social program and the chance to network were both highlights for the three Deakin students. They made friends with whom they hope will continue to be a global network of engaged contacts and partners.
‘I would highly recommend this opportunity to other students,’ Daniel said. ‘Not only for the networking opportunities, but also for the chance to travel, immerse yourself in another culture you know nothing about and talk about so many interesting things.
‘There are an incredible amount of problems to deal with in this world,’ he added. ‘It was great to learn how to problem solve.’
For further information about studying at Deakin and to view the many degrees on offer, visit our international student page. Or ask us a question by visiting our international student enquiry page – we’re happy to help you get to know Deakin better.