Future diplomats in the corridors of power in Canberra

@JCU Future diplomats in the corridors of power in Canberra

Future diplomats rub shoulders in the corridors of power in nation’s capital

YDP winners

YDP winners from Kirwan SHS, Malanda SHS and St Margaret Mary’s College outside Parliament.


The students with Minister for International Development and the Pacific, Senator Fierravanti-Wells

Images courtesy Alice Luetchford

Six Year 10 students from North Queensland are enjoying Canberra after winning James Cook University’s Young Diplomats Program (YDP) competition.

The group is the winners of this year’s YDP annual Day of Diplomacy competition, which was held at JCU in August. 

The YDP Day of Diplomacy brings together year 9 and 10 students from local high schools to develop and practice diplomacy, negotiating and public speaking skills.

The competition involved groups of four students, who each represented a diplomatic mission on behalf of a nominated country.

There are four students from Kirwan State High School, one from St Margaret Mary’s College and one from Malanda State High School.

The students are meeting with Herbert MP, Cathy O’Toole who will give an insight into the workings of the Federal Parliament.

They have attended the Australian Institute of International Affairs (AIIA) national conference and are visiting the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade’s Pacific Department.  The Young Diplomats will also will have the chance to meet Australia’s current diplomatic leaders, including the Minister for Foreign Affairs, Julie Bishop.

YDP convener and JCU Political Science lecturer, Dr Maxine Newlands said in its 20th year, the Young Diplomats Program is a great opportunity for school students.

“YDP gives our future diplomats a chance to talk with diplomats, politicians and ministers, and really understand what it means to work for Australia around the world,” she said. 

“Our partners, DFAT and the Australian Institute of International Affairs are giving the students a taste of what it means to work in international relations and help shape the next generation of diplomats.”

The team will be in Canberra until tomorrow (November 23).

Photos of winners after the competition:


Mission of the Year          Kirwan State High School

  • Tyler Craven-Griffiths
  • Bradley Martin
  • Grace Ginn
  • Crystal Franklin


Diplomat of the Year       St. Margaret Mary’s College

  • Olivia Sewell


Special Award     Malanda State High School

  • Amy Webb