Alice Wang is young Kiwi leader living in the United Kingdom and studying as a Rhodes Scholar at the University of Oxford. In New Zealand, Alice clerked at for a Justice of the Supreme Court and was a Research Assistant at the University of Auckland. She was chosen as one of two young New Zealanders to represent New Zealand at the 2015 Commonwealth Day celebrations in London.
It was a privilege to represent New Zealand at this year's Commonwealth Day Observance at Westminster Abbey. The Observance was part of a wider programme organised by the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association for youth from its member regions, which was attended by more than 40 young people from around the world.
The day began with a talk by the High Commissioners of Malta and Pakistan, sharing their experiences and reflections on their work as diplomats, and concluded with a trip to the iconic London Eye. This year's theme is "A Young Commonwealth", which recognises the fact that young people account for the majority of the Commonwealth's population and play a vital role at the heart of sustainable development and democracy - two important pillars of the Commonwealth's work. T
The speakers at the Observance emphasised, in various ways, the capacity, contribution and potential of young people, and their role in addressing the pressing challenges of the 21st century. The theme also speaks to the organisation itself: as the Queen remarked, "the Commonwealth can only flourish if its ideas and ideals continue to be young and fresh and relevant to all generations", which is a message that is relevant to all nations and organisations in our changing world.
Highlights of the day include Sharanya Manivanna's poem "Gathering" and the call to action by Kailash Satyarthi, a children's rights advocate and Nobel Peace Laureate, at the Observance. Of course, being in Westminster Abbey was an enchanting experience, which was made even more magical by the great diversity of nations, cultures, religions - as well as generations - that stood together to celebrate "A Young Commonwealth".