Students at Harvard Model UN Conference

Two La Trobe University students are among an inaugural group of ten selected to represent Australia at the prestigious Harvard University Model United Nations Conference in Boston, USA, in February.

Leigh Howard, a fourth-year double degree student in Law and International Relations, and Ashlea Scicluna, in the third year of her International Relations course, were chosen from hundreds of applicants based on academic merit, community spirit and leadership abilities.

The conference, in its 56th year, is one of the oldest and largest international youth events in the world. It attracts 2,600 students and academics from thirty countries who debate over four days some of the major global issues in a mock UN setting. This is the first time Australia will participate.

Mr Howard and Ms Scicluna say students will experience first-hand the challenges of international negotiation and diplomacy and share their experiences and opinions with other young people from around the world.

In a message to the delegation, Prime Minister Kevin Rudd said the Government was committed to increasing its engagement with the United Nations as a fundamental pillar of its foreign policy. It supported giving young people a voice because their views and values will shape tomorrow's world.

The University has supported the students' trip to Harvard, donating their airfares. And they are raising the balance of their accommodation and other expenses through private fund raising efforts.