Make your voice heard and change the world
After growing up in the countryside without electricity and missing more than half of his Year 12, Thom went on to start Australia’s first think-tank of young people and be recognised as the Young Victorian of the Year.
Since then he has been on a rollercoaster journey that has taken him to more than seventy countries, given him the chance to work for the likes of Arnold Schwarzenegger, and take his views to some of the world’s most important diplomatic forums.
Now 23 he works as a regular foreign policy commentator. In this workshop Thom will share his personal story and the lessons he has learned along the way as to how he thinks young people can best make a difference in society, make their voices heard and embrace the world around them!
Thom Woodroofe, 23, is a foreign affairs analyst combining journalism, research, teaching and community work to advance an understanding of Australia's place in the world.
In 2009, Thom was recognised as the Young Victorian of the Year for his work in establishing Left Right Think-Tank, Australia's first non-partisan policy body of young people. He is also the founder of Global Voices which coordinates youth delegations to important diplomatic forums abroad.
A freelance commentator on foreign affairs in print and on television, Thom has contributed on the ground from hotspots such as Burma during parliamentary elections, communist Cuba under Castro, and on the Middle East peace process from inside The West Bank.
Thom is also a non-resident Associate Fellow of The Asia Society based in New York and on the Global Agenda Council of the World Economic Forum based in Geneva. Thom has worked for both sides of politics overseas: in the United States Congress for former Democratic Speaker Nancy Pelosi and for former Republican governor Arnold Schwarzenegger in California.
He is the youngest member of the Australian American Leadership Dialogue and the Australia Israel Leadership Forum.Thom has been one of the youngest participants at gatherings such as APEC and the G20 bringing him face-to-face with world leaders such as presidents Obama, Hu Jintao and Medvedev.
A regular public speaker he has addressed audiences such as the White House Press Corps at the National Press Club in Washington DC.
Thom has previously been named one of Melbourne's 100 Most Influential People by The Melbourne Magazine, and one of the region's leading young people by The Asia Society.