Max Kwok, a Bachelor of International Studies student at UNSW Arts, Design & Architecture, has been selected to represent Australian youth as part of Australia’s official delegation to the Youth20 (Y20) Summit in Varanasi, India. 

The Y20 is an official consultation forum for the G20, where youth from each member country raise awareness of global issues, exchange ideas, and develop key recommendations for the annual youth communique, presented at the G20 Summit.

As the recipient of the Global Voices National Scholarship, Max has been selected as the Delegate for Climate Change and Disaster Risk Reduction. His selection was based on his policy proposal, which focused on leveraging Australia’s resource and technological advantages to vigorously develop the global critical minerals value chain. 

On the significance of the Y20, Max said, “The opportunity for young Australians to play a role in shaping policy decision-making at an international level is imperative to guaranteeing our futures are not lost.  

“I am grateful for the chance to listen and learn from diverse young people across the country, and similarly strive to ensure that their views and experiences are heard by other G20 economies in the shared pursuit of inclusive and sustainable growth.”

Max’s experience in the Energy Division of the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific informed his policy proposal, which aligns with the Y20 subthemes: ‘Transitioning to Sustainable Living’, ‘Mitigating Disaster Risks’, and ‘Accelerating the Rise of Green Energy’.

In addition to attending the Y20 Summit in India this August, Max will participate in preceding Working Group meetings and a Pre-Summit conference in India. He will also attend the Global Voices National Conference in Canberra in May and meet with the G20 Sherpa’s Office within the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet.

Max expresses his gratitude for the opportunities provided by UNSW and the Faculty of Arts, Design and Architecture, particularly the International Studies program convenor, Dr Marilu Melo Zurita, who has been integral to his professional and personal development.  

“I have to credit UNSW’s research and work-integrated learning opportunities for enabling me to explore a range of industries and potential career paths throughout my degree”, Max said.

He also acknowledged the value of the one-year exchange program integrated into his degree, which allowed him to develop cross-cultural literacy at universities in Paris and Bangkok.

“Globally, the supply and use patterns of our natural resources are unsustainable. Our sustained prosperity is dependent on reevaluating the way we find, retrieve, use and reuse these resources,” Max said, highlighting the importance of transitioning to sustainable living, mitigating disaster risks, and accelerating the rise of green energy to achieve a more sustainable future.

Max’s achievement is a testament to UNSW’s commitment to providing students with opportunities for personal and professional development and preparing them to make significant contributions to society.