The trip was made possible through RMIT Global Experiences, which provide students with opportunities to travel overseas.
We spoke to Hannah about her trip and her time at RMIT.
How did you hear about this opportunity with RMIT Global Experiences?
I saw the program come up in my student emails in August 2022 – I always check my student emails for this exact reason!
The program involved an application process to attend an international delegation, of which I was most interested in attending the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women.
The successful applicant would be sponsored by RMIT to complete a policy paper on a gendered issue of their choosing and participate in the conference.
What was your role at the Commission and what was most exciting about the opportunity?
I participated in workshops that covered a broad range of contemporary gender issues and met with Australian policy makers and government officials.
What excited me most was meeting like-minded young women in the international relations space and learning about practical context responsive solutions to issues across the world, particularly early intervention responses to youth homelessness.
As part of the program, you wrote a policy paper about preventing young women’s homelessness in Australia. What inspired you to write the paper on this topic?
Through volunteering on YMCA programs, I have learnt the immense value of providing unconditional positive regard and mentorship to young people who might not have regular access to safe relationships and spaces.
YMCA Victoria's camps support young people experiencing social and economic disadvantage including those who live in foster or residential care and have diverse personal histories of trauma.
These factors place young people at higher risk of entering the homelessness cycle.
As such, I was inspired to explore early intervention models to reduce the risk of youth homelessness.
Considering the Commission's gendered focus on women, I refined the scope of my policy paper to address the unique plight of young women at risk of homelessness in Australia.