10 April 2008

With 27 academic staff members announced as delegates to the Australia 2020 Summit last week, The University of Queensland is sure to be well represented.

And with Alan Huynh, a current UQ medical student and resident at International House college, recently selected a delegate to the 2020 Youth Summit, the student body will have a representative voice as well.

"I am genuinely concerned about the direction our country is heading in and am willing to put my hand up to be part of a dynamic process which will help build a more confident, prosperous and healthy modern Australia," Mr Huynh said.

"All citizens, in particular young people, have a significant role to play in society by being proactively engaged in the key issues which affect their country.

"The Youth Summit presents a unique opportunity for me to share my thoughts on existing and evolving intergenerational challenges which Australia faces."

The 2020 Youth Summit, which kicks off on April 12 in Canberra, will comprise of 100 delegates aged between 15 and 24.

The two-day event will event will see these delegates discussing the ten critical areas on the agenda for the Australia 2020 Summit and providing information to go forward to the main event.

Mr Huynh said, among a number of issues, he was particularly passionate about promoting increased understanding of critical issues in indigenous, global, multicultural and rural health whilst identifying potential public health strategies to improve the welling and living standards of all.

"It is important to keep an open mind and be receptive to well argued, cogently presented ideas," he said.

"After all, active listening is just as important as talking when communicating with others!"

The Youth Summit Steering Committee selected 100 delegates from 1260 applications and chose Mr Huynh based on his impressive academic achievements and relevant extracurricular experience.

After graduating with an Honours degree in International Relations from the University of Sydney in 2005, he commenced postgraduate studies in public health before enrolling in the graduate medical program at UQ and is currently undertaking his second year.

He has also completed studies in Japanese language at TAFE.

As his academic qualifications suggest, Mr Huynh is passionate about health, cultural exchange and world issues, and enjoys discussing his opinions.

"In 2006, I was an Australian delegate to the 18th Ship for World Youth Program - a global initiative which brought together 260 young people representing 13 different countries from six continents," he said.

"Recently, I have started volunteering with the homework club run by the Queensland Program of Assistance to Survivors of Torture and Trauma, providing homework help to high school students with a refugee background."

Mr Huynh said he hoped to forge a career which combined clinical practice and research with humanitarian work.

"I am interested in how cultural influences can shape attitudes to health and how these can be integrated into policy and community initiatives which improve the wellbeing of all Australians and people around the world who live in less fortunate circumstances," he said.

"Moreover, I intend to continue to be an advocate for global health, community development and multicultural youth issues."

Also selected a delegate to the 2020 Youth Summit was Boxun Yin, a 20-year-old UQ Law/Arts student, majoring in International Relations.

Mr Yin said he was particularly keen to discuss the role of the media in a democratic society as well as the bill of rights.

MEDIA: Mr Huynh (0413 853 451, s4137820@student.uq.edu.au) or Penny Robinson at UQ Communications (3365 9723, penny.robinson@uq.edu.au)