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Always Moving, Always Learning - Elizabeth Hedges

First, I would like to thank the fantastic team at ASEAN-Australia for organising a great program under the constraints of COVID-19. I know it must have been challenging, but you all pulled it off so effortlessly and made it such an incredible and insightful experience that brought together a larger group of individuals across the region, so thank you!

So, funny thing, this is the first time I have ever done a program like this and I can confidently say that it will not be my last. I joined as a delegate of the Green Recovery stream because of my personal and career interests in sustainability and the environment.

I couldn't help but think this would be an incredible opportunity to challenge my current perspective of green recovery amidst COVID-19, and boy, I was right. Something that resonated with me was the speakers who came from diverse backgrounds from government, research and not-for-profits across the region. I live in Australia, and the climate crisis is at our front door from fires, floods and now earthquakes, so I often neglect other areas. Hearing speakers not from my country and how their relationship is with the environment opened my perspective. It is not one country's battle but a global challenge, and I can't lie, that made me sad because I felt like an ant in this vast world. However, it was this experience that opened the conversation between myself and other delegates. Hearing fellow individuals discuss what needs to be changed and that we are the future made me optimistic that we have the opportunity for social and systemic change.

Thank you once again to the ASEAN-Australia team for your support, and thank you to all the delegates in all the streams for your enthusiasm and conversations. Hopefully, one day, I will get to meet some of you!

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Over the weekend of 28-29 August, the AASYP brought together a talented and eager group of 60 young leaders and policy makers looking to affect and lead meaningful change in the multilateral dialogue

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