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  • Writer's pictureCaterina Sullivan

Young Australian Changemaker Gives Keynote Address at International Young Leaders Forum 2018

Young Australian changemaker Caterina Sullivan presented yesterday during the International Young Leaders Forum 2018 on the need for young people to approach changemaking with a positive attitude.

The forum, which aims to empower high school students to show leadership in creating a better future within the Asia-Pacific region, is currently being held at Brisbane Girls Grammar School from November 25th to 28th.

Ms Sullivan spoke about her career in sustainability including her time working in New York and London, the establishment of the Global Goals Australia Campaign and the launch of her businesses, Strategic Sustainability Consultants and GNX Leaders. The key take-aways from her presentation centred around positivity and respect.

Ms Sullivan’s main lesson she wanted to teach the students from across the Asia-Pacific region who attended the conference that taking action is vital to ensuring an economically, socially and environmentally sustainable future. Specifically referencing the United Nations’ 17 Global Goals for Sustainable Development, Ms Sullivan explained, “At this stage, we just need to be doing something. We are already three years into the fifteen year timeline to complete the 17 goals and their 169 targets, and time is running out.”

Ms Sullivan encouraged all forum attendees to take action in their own lives, whether in their purchase decisions or by starting a project focused on creating sustainable economic, social or environmental change.

Ms Sullivan left the students with empowering closing remarks for the young people in the room.

“We are young in the most incredible time of change. Don’t get drawn into the negativity of the challenges we’re facing. Rise above these. Be solution-focused; take risks; don’t let your age hold you back. I was 19 when I was meeting with the Secretary-General of the United Nations. I was 20 when I was meeting with the World Bank President. By the time I was 21, I had met with over half of the elected representatives in federal Parliament in Australia. I am not special. I am not incredible. I am just passionate and dedicated. I am positive about the future, and I am respectful of others. But most importantly, I’m not sitting on my hands waiting for someone else to make the change. Every day, I am actively chasing a better future. And you can make a difference if you just do something too.”

Ms Sullivan has returned to Canberra for the coming Parliamentary sitting weeks where she will be meeting with politicians to interview them for her new podcast, Politics Done Differently. Ms Sullivan is also meeting with members of the Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade References Committee on the inquiry into the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals.


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