MP sponsors aspiring young diplomats

21 Jul 2020

Posted December 14, 2017

Federal Member for Mayo Rebekha Sharkie has met with two Tatachilla Lutheran College students during their visit to Canberra for a national United Nations-style diplomacy competition.

Photograph: Tatachilla Lutheran College Year 12 students Mathieu Patton and Tilly Symonds with the Federal Member for Mayo Rebekha Sharkie in her parliamentary office. Mathieu and Tilly spent a week in Canberra representing South Australia in the Evatt UN Youth Diplomacy Competition.

Mathieu Patton and Tilly Symonds from Willunga were representing South Australia at the national finals of the Evatt UN Youth Diplomacy Competition and Rebekha was one of the sponsors for their week-long trip in late November and early December.

The Evatt is a Model United Nations Security Council diplomacy competition for students in Years 9 to 12 and takes the form of a mock session of the UN Security Council.

More than 2000 students took part in the competition with Mathieu and Tilly and another team from Mercedes College in Adelaide making it to the national finals.

A team from New South Wales was the eventual winner.

Tatachilla College covered half of the travel and accommodation costs for Mathieu and Tilly but the students were expected to raise their own funds for the trip.

The pair approached Rebekha and she offered $300 in sponsorship.

“I was pleased to support Mathieu and Tilly and delighted when they took up my invitation to visit me in Parliament House and attend Question Time,” Rebekha said.

“It was clear from speaking with them during their visit that they learned so much from their time with UN Youth Australia and they have come away from the competition inspired to pursue their career ambitions in international relations.”

Tilly, who is studying international relations next year in order to pursue a career in diplomacy, said competing in the Evatt was enormously rewarding.

“We’ve been able to develop the skills we need for the careers we are both aiming for in international relations,” she said.

Mathieu has applied to study law and international relations next year and also hopes to work in foreign affairs or international law.

“It was an incredible week and we certainly met some strong debaters from whom I certainly learned a great deal,” he said.

“The debating was very competitive and very intense and we got to meet a lot of interesting students who we shared many similar life experiences with and I’m sure we’ll meet them later in our working lives.

“It was also a great opportunity to see all the important national sites.”

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