Inspired by his upbringing in regional Queensland' Mackay-based CQUniversity Business (Management) student Dominic McCarthy is working to address the high rates of youth unemployment across the region after participating in the Global Voices Scholarship Program last year.
Despite the annual international program being pushed to a virtual format' Dominic said the experience was second to none in providing an enriching and insightful look at policymaking' international relations' and diplomacy.
"From the Canberra Pre-Departure Briefings to the Policy Fellowship and then the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) Forum' all conducted virtually' there has been many both challenges and learning experiences'" he explained.
"These events provided the opportunity to work online with key leaders in government' civil society' and academia in producing a policy paper that outlining how improving industry connections and introducing micro-credential programs can influence the high rates of youth unemployment in regional Queensland.
"I completed research my paper this year after meeting with relevant stakeholders to finalise concise recommendations for domestic policy implementation."
Having served on various youth advisory panels and as an active young leader in his community' Dominic will couple his local insight with his newfound international knowledge.
"My experience at the OECD Forum and the 60th-anniversary event was thought-provoking. I was able to take away key insights from education programs and attitudes towards 'low skilled' industries and apply them to my paper'" Dominic said.
"One of the key events of the few days was The Commemoration of the 60th Anniversary of the Signing of the OECD Convention' where various leaders including Prime Minister Scott Morrison spoke.
"The Prime Minister also reflected on the role of the OECD and its member states who have a shared commitment to democracy' human rights' rule of law and open' transparent' market-based' economic principles that have allowed them to respond to one of the greatest challenges in generations."
Other sessions held through the Forum and Anniversary Event included a New Societal Contract for the Recovery' The Global Role of the OECD and the Case for Collective Action and Multilateralism in the Post-COVID World and COVID-19' The Great Digital Acceleration.
"We were fortunate enough to meet online with three employees from the OECD's Policy Team. The group shared their knowledge with us from working on the OECD report: 'Youth and COVID-19: Response' recovery and resilience.'
"They shared valuable points' such as ensuring institutions are transformed so that they are more informed of reality and how government arrangements can impact policy outcomes.
Dominic said he will never forget the once in a lifetime opportunity.
"Overall' the experience showed me that policy recommendations need to be more than just a moral obligation; we should highlight the benefits to governments.
"I will take what I learned through the rest of my study journey and hope to apply my new-found knowledge to my future employment and overseas experiences.
"I would like to work abroad and contribute to building Australia's reputation globally. This opportunity will also provide the launchpad into a career in international affairs and diplomacy."
To view Dominic's policy paper 'Rising Youth Unemployment in Rural Queensland: Job Pathways and Industry Linkages' visit: https://static1.squarespace.com/static/56635f09e4b078c56b4d110b/t/6035aa9b172ae6638e3501f5/1614129830648/DOMINIC+MCCARTHY_FINAL+POLICY+PAPER.pdf
* Global Voices is offered to CQUniversity students as part of the CQUGlobal Outbound Program. Global Voices is a not-for-profit organisation that identifies and develops the next generation of Australian leaders by providing practical experience in foreign policy and international relations. Thanks to university partners including CQUniversity' Global Voices places are provided at minimal cost to the delegates. Details via http://www.globalvoices.org.au/ .