My name is Caroline Ng and I am a fourth year UNSW Business Information Systems Co-op Scholar who was a recipient of the Global Voices Scholarship Program. As part of the program, UNSW Co-op sponsored me to attend the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and World Bank Group (WBG) Annual Meetings in Washington D.C. from 10-16 October 2022. The opportunity to attend a multilateral forum has broadened my worldview. Here are three key learnings from my experience:
1. Get your voice heard
As part of the Global Voices scholarship program, I wrote a policy paper proposing domestic policy recommendations on an area of interest to me. My policy paper suggested strategies to address the cyber security skills shortage in Australia. I shaped my recommendations based on my perspective of the issue. The program also consisted of travelling to Canberra and meeting government representatives. I was able to pitch my policies to leaders within the policy space such as those from the Grattan Institute and gain their feedback. Additionally, in Washington D.C. I had the opportunity to ask my questions about cyber security and data privacy to international subject matter experts.
2. Broaden your worldview
I met with people from all over the world from different sectors including not-for-profit organisations, private companies and faith-based charities. I was able to broaden my worldview by meeting people from different cultures and countries such as Canada, Germany and Uganda. I gained insight into Australia’s position on the world stage and within multilateral forums. My understanding of global issues increased as I heard about how different nations were navigating industries such as financial technology and digital currencies. I was able to go sightseeing in Washington D.C. and visited the United States Capitol, the Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial and the Lincoln Memorial.
3. Expand your network
A highlight of the trip was meeting the Young Diplomats of Canada who are a group of young Canadians interested in diplomacy and policy. I was able to feature on their podcast and was asked about my perspective as a young Australian attending the IMF and WBG Annual Meetings. I was able to learn about the passions and interests of young Canadians, which included homelessness and climate change. Throughout the program I had the opportunity to connect with diplomats and leaders from the United Nations and the WBG. Lastly, I was able to share this amazing experience with my fellow scholars from different Australian universities and be inspired by their enthusiasm in making change.
By Caroline Ng