Elizabeth Shaw, a law student at The University of Western Australia has been chosen to represent Australian youth at the United Nations.
As an Australian Youth Representative, she will present the concerns of Australian youth to the UN headquarters in New York. Ms Shaw, 24, will travel to each Australian state and territory to meet young people, politicians, youth organisations and bureaucrats to identify issues relevant to young Australians.
In August she will meet fellow European Youth representatives in Europe.
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 four-and-a-half-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.
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.
For more of an idea of the role Beth will play, visit the website of the former Youth Representative, Ben Groom. Once Beth has settled in to her new role she will take over the website. Keep an eye out for her in the news and on Sunrise!