Elizabeth Shaw, a law student at The University of Western Australia has been chosen to represent Australian youth at the United Nations.
Ms Shaw, a final year law student and professional legal assistant at the State Solicitor's Office, is one of two young Australians to be selected from more than 200 applicants as Australian Youth Representative to the UN for 2008.
UWA Vice-Chancellor Professor Alan Robson congratulated Ms Shaw and said she would be an excellent ambassador for Australian youth.
"This is a wonderful opportunity for Beth to represent at the highest level the views of young people in Australia and to learn first-hand about the workings of the United Nations," Professor Robson said.
The Australian Youth Representative represents and advocates for Australian youth, taking their concerns to the UN headquarters in New York.
Ms Shaw, a 24-year-old Claremont resident, will travel to each Australian state and territory to meet young people, politicians, youth organisations and bureaucrats to identify issues relevant to Australian young people. She will meet fellow European Youth representatives in Europe in August.
From September to December she will be working in New York as a fully accredited member of the Australian delegation to the UN. She will address the General Assembly on behalf of Australia and work with the Third Committee of the General Assembly (Social, Humanitarian, Cultural).
"I'm incredibly excited to be selected to represent Australia at the United Nations," Ms Shaw said. "The capacity for young people to be agents of change in their own communities is something that I've always found inspiring. I'm looking forward to meeting as many young people as I can during my consultation tour of Australia.
"I'm really grateful to have spent 4 ½ years studying at UWA, which has one of the most active student bodies in the country and provides an unrivalled environment for students to really cut their teeth in a diverse range of extra-curricular activities."
A former editor of UWA student newspaper Pelican, Ms Shaw was elected President of the Blackstone Society, the UWA Law Students' Society, in 2006.
As President, she developed free workshops for students to give them practical skills in negotiation, advocacy and client interviewing; initiated a mentor scheme for female students and women in the profession; developed a volunteer database matching community organisations with students and sat on each Law School committee to represent students.
Also in 2006, she was awarded the Cruikshank Routley Memorial Prize, which recognises the UWA student who has made the greatest contribution to campus life.
Photographs of Ms Shaw are available from UWA, Public Affairs.
Elizabeth Shaw 61 8 9264 1890 / 0402 853 852
Janine MacDonald (UWA Public Affairs) 61 8 6488 5563 / 0432 637 716