Young blood

Bachelor of Business

Elise Giles’ determination to be an international citizen springs from worldliness beyond her years. The Griffith business graduate believes the future strength of the Australia-Asia relationship will owe much to the quality of youth leadership in the present.

In 2012, Elise received the Prime Minister’s Australia Asia Endeavour Award, which allowed her to study and work in Hong Kong for seven months in 2013.

“I completed a semester at the Hong Kong Polytechnic University studying Event Management and Human Resource Management,” says Elise, who was also a member of the Griffith Honours College.

“I then undertook an internship with international events consultants MCI. That was a real eye-opener in relation to the kind of career I want to pursue.”

After identifying the potential to enhance interaction between young Australians and young Chinese, Elise and a fellow Endeavour Award recipient established the Hong Kong Chapter of the Australia-China Youth Association (ACYA).

“ACYA has four chapters in China and multiple chapters in Australia,” she said.

“While the Hong Kong chapter is still young, it provides opportunities for Australians and locals to establish relationships through language exchange events, cultural activities, speaker engagement nights, social gatherings and other events.

“I see it as being a foundation for the students that follow; a way of using youth leadership, professional development, cultural education, collaboration and networking to build the relationship between Australia and Asia.

“Youth leadership should be especially encouraged, I believe, because it can do so much towards breaking down cultural and social barriers and stereotypes.”

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