AUT student chosen to represent New Zealand at APEC

20 Oct, 2011
Melody Cooper

Melody Cooper has a desire to shape what the future of the world will look like; so it’s appropriate then that come November she has the opportunity to start that journey.

Cooper, an AUT University student, has been chosen to be one of only five New Zealanders going to the APEC Voices of the Future 2011 conference in Hawaii next month.

The conference

While at the conference Cooper will have the opportunity to observe the CEO Summit 2011, a conference attended by the 21 APEC country leaders.

The Voice of the Future conference provides a platform for interaction and networking for youths from the APEC economies to encourage mutual understanding and cooperation.

There will be 120 delegates at the forum which has a theme of Engage, Discover, Forge.

Cooper is a third year Bachelor of Arts student majoring in conflict resolution and international studies and was nominated to attend by staff members in the Applied Humanities faculty.

Her study in conflict resolution will be integral when the delegates have the opportunity to meet Maya Soetoro-Ng, USA President Barack Obama’s half sister, who is an education specialist at the East West Center in Hawaii.

The theme of her address is ‘peace education and conflict resolution’.

The East West Center “promotes better relations and understanding among the people and nations of the United States, Asia, and the Pacific through cooperative study, research, and dialogue”.

During the seven day conference Cooper will also meet the executive director of APEC, Ambassador Muhammad Noor and observe at the Asia Pacific Business Symposium.

The experience

Cooper says this is an incredible opportunity and one she is ready for.
“It is called ‘Voices of the Future’ and I do have a desire to shape what the future of the world might look like.”

Although Cooper says she will be doing plenty of reading, reflecting and research before the conference she already has a fair idea of what she hopes to gain from the experience.

“I’m looking forward to engaging with the ideas that speakers present on APEC-related policies and issues in the hope that I will learn from them, and in return, use this knowledge in future endeavours of study and work.”

This is not the first leadership forum Cooper has attended; in 2010 she went to the 2010 Aspiring Leaders Forum in Wellington.

The APEC Voices of the Future 2011 is held from November 7 to 13 in Honolulu, Hawaii.

For more information about the conference click here