Two young, inspiring leaders announced as 2023 Menzies Foundation Fellows

The Menzies Foundation in partnership with Global Voices is delighted to announce the appointment of two 2023 Menzies Foundation Global Voices Fellows.  Kaylee Neil was selected to participate in the CSW68 UN Commission on the Status of Women Delegation.  Bayan Yazdani selected to participate at the IMF/World Bank Annual Summit delegation. 

They join fifteen inspiring young Australians who will embark on their Global Voices journey. Through their involvement in the program, fellows will attend the Global Voices National Conference in October for pre-departure briefings and attend a multilateral forum.

They will complete a policy fellowship, an extensive process where they develop a 2,500-word policy paper with key recommendations for domestic implementation.

These topics are closely related to the themes of the international forums they are participating in. 

As part of this process, fellows will liaise with Australian government officials and public servants, senior academics, thought leaders from academia, think tanks and the private sector as well as politicians and senior diplomats.

Fellows will join a network of over 320 alumni who have participated in over 100 international summits since the establishment of Global Voices in 2011.

As part of the announcement, Global Voices’ Chief Executive Officer, Mary Nega stated, “This cohort of young leaders will grapple with the critical issues determining our shared futures across a broad range of topics spanning the global economic outlook, the eradication of poverty, inclusive development, climate action and the state of gender equality globally among other things. Each Fellow was selected based on their impressive demonstration of leadership qualities, but also for their innovative proposals seeking to rectify gaps in the policy landscape to aid us in meeting the challenges ahead”

“We are excited to support young Äustralians to engage with the key institutions forging decision making on the issues facing the globe. Beyond this, we are even more excited to see how fellows translate these learnings in their future changemaking endeavours”  

Kaylee is currently studying a Bachelor of Laws (Honours) at the Queensland University of Technology. Alongside her studies, she works as a paralegal at a specialist family law firm in Brisbane. Her policy proposal is focused on ensuring women escaping domestic violence can obtain a just and equitable property settlement. 

Kaylee has volunteer experience with Young Australians in International Affairs and the Australian Pro Bono Centre (APBC). She is an alumni of the YMCA’s Queensland Youth Parliament program and has participated in a number of programs with UN Youth Australia, including an international delegation to America. Kaylee is passionate about humanitarianism.

Bayan Yazdani is a Senior Consultant at Nous Group and an AFS Intercultural Programs Qualified Facilitator. From Adelaide and now residing in Darwin, he holds undergraduate qualifications in psychology, international relations and French along with a Master of Business Administration specialised in international trade and development.  His policy paper focuses on building a resilient regional Australia via enabling flexible APS work as a means for social mobility in rural communities. 

On the side, Bayan volunteers as a Partnerships Officer for the National Australia Indonesia Language Awards, and he is passionate about Asia-Australia relations. To this end, he is an alumnus of the Australian Government’s New Colombo Plan Scholarship and Australia-Indonesia Youth Exchange Program.

Bayan is also an active member of the Australian Baha’i Community and previously volunteered with the Australian Red Cross in its employment programs, supporting migrants and refugees with their challenges integrating into Australian society.

We welcome you to follow their journey through Global Voices.