The New Zealand National Commission for UNESCO is delighted to announce the six new members of our Youth Reference Group: Shaymaaa Arif, Injy Johnstone, Peter McKenzie, Ashlee Peacock, Nola Smart and Charlotte Steel.
“We received applications from 100 incredibly talented young people and it was a very difficult decision to narrow them down to six,” says Libby Frampton, an advisor in the National Commission’s Secretariat who is responsible for the youth portfolio.
The Youth Reference Group is chaired by the Special Advisor – Youth (currently Danielle Newton) and provides advice to the National Commission on how to engage young people in UNESCO’s work programmes.
Shaymaa (22) recently graduated with a Law and Social Sciences degree from Waikato University and is now a qualified barrister and solicitor. Her achievements include being selected for the Aotearoa Youth Leadership Institution Delegation for the World Heritage Committee 41st Session in Poland, representing Te Piringa Faculty of Law in the National International Humanitarian Law Mooting Competition in Wellington, and being selected for the Delegation of New Zealand for the prestigious Shop for World Youth Programme in 2016. She received the Waikato Student Unions Scholarship for Cultural Contribution 2016 and was a 2015 finalist in the Westpac New Zealand Women of Influence Awards in the ‘Young Leader’ Category. She is also a Trustee of the family-founded Charitable Trust ‘Tamariki Outreach’, which sponsors Syrian orphans and helps the local community through aiding vulnerable members as well as connecting the Muslim community with the non-Muslim community.