CQU alumnus turned high school teacher believes Global Voices opportunities helped him become a leader

22 February 2022

CQUniversity Secondary Education alumnus Dominic Mappas has highlighted how participating in the Global Voices Scholarship program allowed him to advocate climate change to an international audience.

Dominic' who is now an English and Humanities teacher at The Cathedral College in Rockhampton' attended the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC 2020) delegations and Conference of the Parties (COP 25) and even presented a paper virtually' thanks to the Global Voices program.

"At the events' I saw firsthand how international stakeholders communicate issues and discuss solutions and goals'" Dominic said.

"This experience provided insight into diplomatic discussions' helped me develop understandings on significant global issues' and extended my knowledge of reasonable and measurable goal setting at an international level."

Dominic said he decided to study Education at CQU specifically because of the Global Voices Scholarship.

"As a young regional Australian' I always felt limited with my access to international opportunities. However' CQUniversity had a variety of short and long-term exchange and study abroad programs that were partially to fully funded' which were targeted to regional students'" he said.

"The program developed my confidence in talking to those in higher roles' improved my presentation skills to adapt to an online platform (which has supported me during online teaching)' and how to work in a team of like-minded scholars."

He said climate change was a significant issue that he was passionate about.

"Climate change directly affects the Queensland coastline' and during the La Nina cycle' there is more substantial risk. Global Voices helped me consolidate my understandings of climate change' to the point where I could articulate my knowledge to others.

"My paper' 'Mitigating weather erosion on Queensland coastline and islands' focuses on how we can utilise natural vegetation to reform damaged and weakened frontal dunes' internal structure' to mitigate affects from extreme weather' such as cyclonic winds and swells.

"I began this paper after the 'Canberra Training Week'' where diplomats and stakeholders from around the world discussed' via zoom' how to develop policies and refine policy writing skills."

"The experience was something' as a young regional Australian' I did not think I would have access to. The online experience matured my understandings of policy and academic writing' as well as punctuality. It also allowed me for the first time to participate at an international level. I would recommend it for likeminded students' who explicitly want to improve their scholarly writing' capacity to act as a leader' and diplomatic skills."

Global Voices is a youth-led Australian not-for profit committed to developing the next generation of leaders by providing practical experience in policy-making' international relations' and diplomacy. The Global Voices Scholarship Program consists of three elements: participation in a Canberra Briefings Program' completion of a Policy Fellowship' and attendance at an international delegation. The program provides participants with a dedicated policy-writing workshop' media engagement training' institutional visits' greater cross-cultural awareness' and significant professional networking opportunities.

As part of the CQUGlobal Outbound program' CQUni sponsors up to two students in Terms 1 and 2 each year to participate in two Global Voices delegations.

The CQUGlobal Outbound program provides opportunities for CQUni students to develop a global outlook and improve employability outcomes as they undertake part of their studies in a different country' or on virtual exchange programs.