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Welcome to the April / May edition of UNAA News!

The UN & Australian Sustainable Partnerships Forum

The UN & Australia Sustainable Partnerships Forum was successfully delivered to a national and international audience on 20 and 21 April and we thank all the UNAA members and supporters who attended the two-day event.

Delivering the Forum online allowed us to plan a program filled with expert speakers and audience members from around the world. We are pleased to report that we ultimately presented speakers from New York, Oxford, Geneva, Manila, Samoa, Fiji, Exeter and India. Closer to home, we welcomed speakers from every Australian State and Territory. Audiences were equally diverse, tuning in from across Australia, the US, UK and the Asia Pacific. Read 

Over 70 Forum Speakers and Session Hosts enabled us to deliver the vision we had for the Forum as a vehicle to inspire, inform and challenge participants and leave them feeling enthusiastic and energised about finding new partners to progress the SDGs. The positive feedback we are receiving is telling us that these outcomes have been achieved.


UN Deputy Secretary-General Amina J. Mohammed in conversation with Lucy Stronach, 2021 Australian Youth Representative to the UN

Participants joined breakout sessions organised in the conference themes of Climate and Planet, Gender Equality, Justice and Human Rights and Poverty and Inequality.

Thank you to all our wonderful speakers, session and networking hosts and our Partners – these can still all be seen at our Forum website.

Top L-R: Erika Feller, UNAA Goodwill Ambassador for Refugees, Paul Power, CEO, Refugee Council of Australia and Lorna Deng, Co-Founder, DivTal. Bottom: David Manne, Executive Director, Refugee Legal, discussing the implementation of the UN Global Compact on Refugees
Erika Feller, Vice-Chancellor’s Fellow, University of Melbourne, UNAA Goodwill Ambassador for Refugees and Asylum Seekers joined Lorna Deng, Co-Founder, DivTal, David Manne, Executive Director, Refugee Legal and Paul Power, CEO, Refugee Council of Australia to discuss how we can partner to ensure that Australia moves towards new policies for refugees and asylum seekers. The UN Global Compact on Refugees provides a blueprint for stronger, fairer, more predictable and sustainable international responses built on responsibility and burden-sharing.

As former Ambassador to the UN, Carlisle Richardson, said in closing the Forum;

“The Forum, however, was never intended to be a singular event. Rather, it was designed to have us rethink and refresh our minds on the way forward. It was meant to bring stakeholders together to forge partnerships. I believe we have succeeded in that regard, and the time has arrived for us to seriously consider ‘what next.’”

We are now gathering data from the Forum and preparing our Forum report which we look forward to sharing with you in the near future. In the interim, we have developed a Forum Communique to record and communicate some of the important moments and issues from the event.

Goal of the Month: April
Each month the United Nations focus on one major Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) - this month the goal is Good Health and Well-Being. As the world continues to face a global health crisis, there is now more than ever a need to work towards ensuring the good health and well-being of all people. There has been a tremendous multilateral focus on equitable health coverage and vaccine distribution programmes to ensure access to information, supplies, and resources for all who need them. Read more about this month's focus areas, from the WHO's Health Equity Campaign to the COVID-19 Vaccine Passports, and more - on the UN's official SDG website.
“As we recover from the COVID-19 pandemic, we must implement policies and allocate resources so all can enjoy the same health outcomes. That means achieving the Sustainable Development Goals by 2030.” - UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres. 
Read more from the UN Secretary General's World Health Day Message here

Rosemary Kariuki
Last month, UNAA QLD met an extraordinary woman, Rosemary Kariuki, the 2021 Australian Local Hero. Rosemary works as a multicultural community liaison officer for Parramatta Police and was nominated as the NSW Local Hero in the Australia Day Awards this year. Our Division Executive member, Ron Mitchell, knew of Rosemary’s work in the difficult area of sexual violence, he invited her to talk with community members in the Logan region and the UNAA QLD members had the opportunity to share her commitment, passion and life story.

Arriving in Australia from Kenya in 1999, Rosemary has worked to encourage migrant women to escape isolation, share experiences and build communities, and she has special “weapons’....laughter, food and dance! Her wonderful story has been the subject of the documentary Rosemary’s Way which highlights these weapons at work. Rosemary lives the goals of the SDG agenda... leave no one behind, genuine equality and the importance of partnerships. We shared her experiences, celebrated her achievements and laughter throughout her presentation. Thank you also to Trish Jenkings (UNAA NSW President) and Lidia Moretti (UNAA SA President) who joined our event.

End Modern Slavery Roundtables 2020

Ending modern slavery sits at the intersection of human rights, ethical economy and international relations. UNAA members Claire Moore (UNAA QLD President), Dr Donell Davis, and Goodwill Ambassador Grace Forrest are all active in this important area of work.

Over 6 months in 2020 UNAA QLD worked with Hidden No More and Soroptimist International to convene a series of 'rapid round tables' to deepen understanding of the issue, actions in place, and formulate an agenda for action in 7 policy areas - human rights, ethical economy, international relations, ethical labour services, export and import of ethical goods, international systems, and government action to end modern slavery. The report is a rich repository of information for action. WHAT HAPPENED NEXT? WHAT WILL HAPPEN NEXT? To get involved contact

'Choose to Challenge' with Former Senator Claire Moore, 29 March
To celebrate acts of courage and determination by ordinary women, who have played an extraordinary role in the history of their countries and communities, Claire Moore’s presentation focused on Australia’s participation in the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women (CSW). The priority theme of the 65th session of the CSW was “Women’s full and effective participation and decision-making in public life, as well as the elimination of violence, for achieving gender equality and the empowerment of all women and girls.” The event challenged all participants to reflect on the progress made to date as well as recognise the many hurdles which remain.
'Life on Land ' with ANU Professor David Lindenmayer, 19 April
Human life depends on the earth as much as the ocean, with1.6 Billion people relying on forests for their livelihoods. ANU Professor David Lindenmayer, a world-leading expert in forest ecology and resource management spoke on the importance of managing the impacts of fire. The event was inspired by Sustainable Development Goal 15 and its title Life on Land, highlighting the critical importance of the sustainable management of our terrestrial ecosystems. Following the devastating Black Summer bush fires in Australia, effective management and mitigation of the impacts of fire on our forests has become an area of increased interest and concern.


In Australia, about 100 children aged 0-14 are diagnosed with a malicious brain or spinal cord tumour each year; in WA, two children on average are diagnosed with brain cancer every month. Childhood brain cancer kills more Australian children than any other disease. To help the cause, the UNAAWA in support of our Community Partner, the Rotary Club of Perth, assisted The Pirate Ship Foundation to run an event on the 20 March 2021.
Hosted at the Government House Gardens, the inaugural Governor’s Backyard Cricket event was held to raise funds for research into childhood brain cancer and supporting The Pirate Ship Foundation, a local charity that works to support such research. To support our partners at the Rotary Club of Perth, UNAAWA volunteers turned up to assist in a number of volunteer roles. The event consisted primarily of a cricket game by two teams – one captained by Hon Kim Beazley AC, Governor of Western Australia, and the other, the Pirates, captained by Nick Gottardo, Head of Oncology at Perth Children’s Hospital. It was attended by 1,000 people on Saturday. Crowds packed the hills around the pop-up pitch and enjoyed a day of fun led by MC Tim Gossage, with corporate supporters digging deep to raise money for a great cause.


L-R: President of UNAAWA Dr Sandy Chong, former District Governor of Rotary Club of Perth, Graham Peden, and UNAAWA volunteers.

Amorith Tan - UNAAWA Chief Editor

International Women’s Day
It was a pleasure to be involved with the 'Walking Together: Australian Indigenous Women's perspectives and insights in their journey of leadership' international event on 17 March 2021. Dr Patricia Jenkings, UNAA NSW President, shared introductory remarks, celebrating these indigenous women's achievements and leadership. The event had an audience in the Asia Pacific and United States, fostering connections between the regions. In case you missed it, you can watch the event recording here.
World Health Day
To celebrate World Health Day, 7th April 2021, UNAA NSW hosted an online ‘My Health Through the Years’ event, with a focus on prevalent concerns within each of the developmental stages of life: infants, adolescents, adults, and seniors. We hosted a panel discussion from experts in the field on the following topics:
  • “Improving vaccination uptake in infants” – Professor Julie Leask
  • “Mental Health Concerns in Children and Adolescents” – Professor Valsamma Eapen “Obesity in Adults” – Mr Joe Carello
  • “Building Resilient Health Systems” – Dr Sonu Bhaskar

Watch the recording here.                                     
UN Diploma
  • Next course runs from July 9 – November 12
  • Find out more and register here
  • Watch the Promo video here
International Day of Living Together in Peace
UNAA NSW has partnered with the Multicultural Council of Wagga Wagga to deliver an event on 16 May that celebrates the International Day of Living Together in Peace.
  • What: a panel discussion asking how communities can live and act together, united in differences and diversity, in order to build a sustainable world of peace, solidarity and harmony.
  • When: 2-3:30pm 
  • Where: Senior Citizens Centre in Wagga Wagga.
The event is free to attend for all. A recording of the panel discussion will be distributed on UNAA NSW's social media.


United Nations International Day for Sport Development and Peace, March 10 
The Darwin Community came out in force to participate in the inaugural UNAA NT celebration for United Nations International Day of Sport for Development and Peace at Arafura Stadium (Athletics track and field stadium). The day was about recognising the power of sports in promoting peace, healthy lifestyles, tolerance, respect and erasing cultural barriers. Sport brings people and communities together and today was a shining example of that.

What a fantastic afternoon our Key Note speaker was Mr Charlie King OAM, the ABC Sports Broadcaster and founder of the NO MORE campaign to stop violence in sport. The afternoon showcased somewhat periphery sports including: Sepak Takraw, Air Badminton (a new aerodynamically designed shuttlecock for outside play), Tai Chi, Zumba, Bocce, High Jump, Shot Put, Long Jump, 60 Metre races. It was a wonderful to see the Darwin community come out to support this inaugural multi-sport event and the Karen community dressed in traditional clothing supporting family and friends that were exhibiting Sepak Takraw. Our new Indonesian Diplomats, Consuls Mr Siuaji Raja and Mr Yulius Mada Kaka also attended and participated in a number of the events.
Community and ABC Radio have congratulated us on a very successful event and we were asked if we would run the event and others like this next year.


UN Young Professionals 

On World Creativity and Innovation Day, the Queensland United Nations Young Professionals (YP) hosted a panel discussion and networking event focused on the innovation we need to achieve the 2030 Sustainable Development Goal Agenda. We brought together Leanne Kemp, Founder and CEO of Everledger, Craig O’Kane MBE, the Director of the Office of the Queensland Chief Entrepreneur, and Camille Socquet-Clerc, the founder of Bloom Impact Investing to discuss the dangers of greenwashing, innovation for ethical supply trains and finance, and how individuals and organisations can make real impact in sustainability.

The YPs are running a national event series celebrating the International Year of Creative Economy for Sustainable Development. Following our launch event on 12th of May, Queensland, NSW, Victoria, WA and the ACT YP committees will present showcases on sustainability across a variety of areas ranging from Great Barrier Reef action to renewable energy to sustainable fashion. It’s the first nation-wide events program run by multiple committees and aims to build upon the online links created during the 2020 pivot to virtual events!

Get involved with our work and find your local YP committee here.  


Photo 1: Leanne Kemp, Craig O’Kane MBE, Camille Socquet-Clerc at UNYP Queensland ‘Innovation for Sustainable Development’. Photo 2: Dr. Shannon Tumataroa, Camille Socquet-Clerc, Leanne Kemp, Craig O’Kane MBE, Joel Lindsay at UNYP Queensland ‘Innovation for Sustainable Development’

UNAA Status of Women Network
Gender Equality

The United Nations Association of Australia Status of Women Network is a member of the Equality Rights Alliance, an alliance of women’s voices for gender equality.

The Alliance wrote to the Prime Minister on 31 March congratulating him on the establishment of the Cabinet Taskforce on Gender Equality. Alliance members urged the Cabinet Taskforce to prioritise the implementation of intersectional Gender Responsive Budgeting to enable the taskforce and the proposed gender equality focus in the work of Cabinet to work from a robust analysis of the effects on women of policy and expenditure.

UNAA Board Update
April - May

The National Board took an active role in the UN & Australia Sustainable Partnerships Forum in April. The National President, National Secretary, Independent Director Justin Howden, UNAA QLD President Claire Moore and UNAA VIC representative Andrew Hewett formed a working party to consider our capacity to support partnerships emerging from the Forum, frame our key messages for the Forum and draft a Communique which was published on our website, promoted on our socials, and distributed to speakers, participants, members, through this newsletter and to Australian Members of Parliament and Senators.

Through the leadership of Samantha O'Shaughnessy, Head of Administration, we are inducting a team of volunteers to our national office and we look forward to introducing them to you in our next newsletter.

Call for nominations to our Public Policy Committee is extended to 23 May
Are you passionate about good public policy? Do you have capacity to contribute to building the UNAA public policy platform? UNAA National is seeking nominations from members who have experience and expertise in senior level operations of the United Nations, and / or research and public policy formulation, with a commitment to the UN values of professionalism, integrity and respect for diversity, and strong collaboration skills to join the Public Policy Committee.

This will be a working committee focused on priorities determined by the UNAA National Board and informed by Divisions. Andrew Hewett of UNAA Victoria is the Inaugural Chair. Please complete your expression of interest and forward it through the Chair of your division or to with Public Policy Committee in the title. Please set out the reasons for your interest, along with:

  • Areas of expertise
  • Experience in senior level operations of the United Nations and/or experience in research and public policy formulation
  • Collaboration skills
  • Commitment to the UN values of professionalism, integrity and respect for diversity.

The UNAA is a Not-for-profit charity and relies on donations to support our events and continued efforts. All donations are tax deductible and much appreciated.
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