Curtin University Law and Commerce student Asha Healy recently discovered that “youths have the power to create change” after she attended the 8th University Leadership Symposium in Bangkok last month. Hosted by the United Nations (UN) and Humanitarian Affairs, the conference gathered compassionate student leaders from universities across the globe to engage in developing goals for global social change.
Asha recently sat down with Curtin Careers, Employment & Leadership to discuss how she came to represent Curtin at such a prestigious event.
As one of seven candidates representing Australia in Bangkok, Asha describes the symposium as an “intensely rewarding experience”. The week-long engagement allowed her, and other like-minded students, to work with delegates of the UN on developing goals to help implement change and improve their communities once they returned home.
She tells us the conference was a powerful experience, which really helped with personal self-discovery and allowed her to become more open-minded:
“Speaking to different people from different countries, you learn so much about other people’s circumstances and about all these things people are doing – it’s a lot about being open.”
At 20 years old, you can’t help but be amazed and inspired by her journey. Her love for people and desire to be involved in shaping a better world is strong.
Having grown up in Albany, community spirit runs in her blood. In 2014, she spoke at the nationally broadcasted World War 1 centenary dawn service and parade in Albany. This year she has been named Young Volunteer of the Year Award by the Country Women’s Association for her remarkable volunteer history in the Albany community.
Asha admits she was quite shy as a young person, and that her confidence only grew once she began to engage with more students like herself and conquered more public speaking events.
Now, in the midst of completing a double degree, Asha’s involvement in the student university community has seen her participate in Curtin Volunteers, the John Curtin Leadership Academy and the Curtin Leaders Program. Asha explains that these programs were the next step in her leadership journey giving her the chance to learn, grow and give back in different ways.
“Participation gave me chance to work hands on with not-for-profits, to learn how they run things and collaborate with lots of different people.”
For students seeking out a similar journey in leadership or volunteering, Asha tells us that if she has learnt anything over the past few years it’s that that overloading can be detrimental:
“The John Curtin Leadership Academy was definitely good for helping me realise my limits and how much I can handle. It’s important to take a step back to look at the bigger picture and to make sure that university study is still the priority.”
For anybody seeking to work with the UN, you do need to be strong academically, at least a Master level of Education is generally required. But, for Asha, at this rate, her career goal to work as a young professional with the UN may well become a reality.