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Young Kiwis represent New Zealand on the Commonwealth stage

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

Two young New Zealanders living abroad had the opportunity to represent their country and rub shoulders with dignitaries and fellow young people from across the Commonwealth.

Sarah Novak and William Reynolds were the two candidates selected to fly the flag for the New Zealand Parliament at Commonwealth Day 2019. Sarah is currently at the University of Oxford, studying towards a Master’s in Environmental Change and Management, and William is a young entrepreneur based in London.

The pair attended the official Commonwealth Day Service at Westminster Abbey. They also participated in workshops with other young leaders from around the Commonwealth, with the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association (CPA).

The celebration is held in London on the second week of March each year. The theme for Commonwealth Day 2019 was ‘A Connected Commonwealth’.

"Commonwealth Day was a wonderful insight into the diversity of perspectives and experiences that are present across the Commonwealth," said Sarah.

"Given that my Master's is focused on environmental change and management, it was particularly meaningful to attend an event where environmental challenges were the central focus, and to contribute my thoughts as a New Zealander.

"I was also lucky to have the opportunity to engage with a range of people on this topic and to hear about progress being made - from diplomats, international lawyers, other young people, to even some members of the royal family."

Young people from around the Commonwealth gathered in London for Commonwealth Day 2019.

William agreed, saying that the event was "an exceptional experience … with so many representatives from other countries".

"The day with the CPA not only shaped my opinions, but brought all of us participants closer with respect for the different nations’ differing priorities - but also shared beliefs," he adds.

"Kiwi mannerisms may have shone through gritting our way through formalities and process, but diversity and debate left a lasting mark on all involved."

Are you a young Kiwi interested in applying to represent New Zealand at this annual event? Keep an eye on the New Zealand Parliament website for future opportunities!

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