Media Release by The Hon Larry Anthony MP

Twelve young Aussies chosen for a trip of a lifetime

Minister for Children and Youth Affairs, Larry Anthony, today announced the twelve young Australians selected to participate in the 15th Ship for World Youth Program.

“These young people have been selected from 148 applications to take part in this unique cultural exchange program organised by the Japanese Government .

“More than 250 young people aged from 18-30 from around the world will sail the Pacific Ocean on the Nippon Maru for three months to learn about international cooperation and understanding.

“The young Australians selected represent every State and Territory and a range of experiences and backgrounds. Those selected include students, a veterinary assistant, youth worker, a radio broadcaster, environmental consultant and a Red Cross worker.

“However, they all have one thing in common, they share a passion for getting involved in issues that affect youth which makes them ideal to represent Australia.

“The Australian delegation will head to Tokyo in October and then to Singapore, where they will board the ship. The ship will visit Cairns, Honolulu and Vancouver, before disembarking in Hawaii in December.

“The Ship for World Youth Program is a fantastic opportunity for the young Australians to develop an understanding of other cultures, and most importantly, build friendships,” Mr Anthony said

Minister Anthony will welcome the Ship for World Youth to Cairns in November.

For contact number for participants please call Suzi Hewlett ph 02 6219 3058

15th Ship for World Youth – Australian Delegation

National Leader

  • Michelle Parker, SA
    Michelle, 30, is a youth development officer with the Australian Red Cross in South Australia. She is also in her second year of a Master of International Studies at the University of South Australia. She has travelled extensively, worked overseas and brings to the position of leader, a realistic knowledge and understanding of the world and the cultures, religions and issues faced by people around the world. She has managed teams of young volunteers in a variety of situations and last year hosted a national youth conference in Adelaide that brought together 80 young people from across Australia.


Participating Youth

  • Emma Wooldridge, NSW
    Emma is 18, and studying Social Work at the University of NSW. Emma is originally from Forbes, NSW, where she was actively involved in her community. Emma was an inaugural member of Forbes Youth 2000 and represented rural NSW at National Youth Congress 2000. Emma is also a regular fundraiser for the Bethesda Nursing Home, the Red Shield Appeal, World Vision and the Forbes Musical and Dramatic Society.
  • Michael Paul, NSW
    Michael is a 19 year old student currently studying Applied Science – Food Technology at the University of Western Sydney. Michael is actively involved with the St Vincent De Paul Society, assisting with various fundraising initiatives as well as elderly house visits and buddy days with young children.
  • Rachelle Welsh, ACT
    Rachelle is a 21 year old student studying a Bachelor of Economics/Law at the Australian National University. Originally from Eugowra, in country NSW, Rachelle was voted Lions Youth of the Year in 1996, and in 1997 was selected to attend the Apex Youth Development program. Rachelle is currently trying to reinstate the Eugowra Youth Centre, to give young people in the area a place to “chill out”.
  • Christopher Robertson, TAS
    Christopher, 23, is studying a Graduate Certificate in Legal Practice at the University of Tasmania, and is an Officer in the Australian Army Reserve. Christopher has a good understanding of other cultures, having migrated to Australia from India, and has lived in Somalia and travelled extensively throughout Asia. He is also a member of the Young Endeavour Association, participating in the program in 1998.
  • Megan Cusack, QLD
    Megan, 25, is employed as a Veterinary Assistant at the Racing Science Centre, with a Graduate Diploma of Science Communication. She is a guest lecturer at the University of Queensland on personal development and opportunities for graduates. Megan managed the Centre for the Mind National Creative Mind Prize Program from 1999 to 2001, and is currently developing an online learning resource for science graduates.
  • Kelly Baylis, NT
    Kelly, 27, is an Indigenous Australian and a senior broadcaster for TEABBAA Radio Station, Northern Territory. Kelly communicates regularly with young people in her employment, and has an in-depth understanding of issues that facing Indigenous and non-Indigenous young Australians.
  • Daniel Savill, WA
    Daniel, 22, works with homeless youth in remote north Western Australia. As a Youth Worker at the Karratha Youth Housing Project, he has been an advocate for improving opportunities for youth residing at the refuge. Daniel is experienced working with young people from diverse cultures.
  • Nicholas Palousis, SA
    Nicholas, 21, is a graduate of Mechatronic Engineering/Computer Science from Adelaide University. He is involved in a number of youth organisations, including the International Young Professionals Association and is the coordinator of the South Australian Youth Employment Forum. Nicholas is also vice president of the Young Engineers Association (SA). Nicholas is originally from Whyalla, and regularly returns home to promote youth involvement to the community. His goal is to win a Rhodes Scholarship and pursue his career in engineering.
  • Andrew Higgs, VIC
    Andrew, 19, is in his first year of a Bachelor of Health Science at the Australian College of Natural Medicine in Victoria. He has been a participant in the Rotary International Exchange Program spending 12 months in Finland. Andrew was a member of the YMCA Centenary of Federation National Youth Parliament, and was elected Prime Minister by his peers. Andrew is also a member of the Australia-Japan Society of Victoria.
  • Eng Ung, VIC
    Eng is aged 22, and is currently studying a Bachelor of Arts (Creative Advertising), at RMIT in Melbourne, and has a Certificate III in Applied Languages – Japanese. Eng represented her university at the Global Student Forum, held in the United Arab Emirates in 2000, and is the RMIT Union Vice-President of Student Life.
  • Arron Wood, VIC
    Arron, 26, is an Environmental Communication consultant, having recently won the 2001 Young Australian of the Year for the Environment. He is the director of his own company and a board member on the Sunraysia Area Consultative Committee. Arron communicates extensively with the community, through regular airtime on ABC radio National and was an ambassador for the National Youth