New Blog Post: Young Professionals – MAY

Welcome to the May edition of the UNAA Victoria Young Professionals’ Blog



UN Careers Night hosted by the AIIA

On the 30th of May, we held our first collaborative and sold out event with the Australian Institute of International Relations Victoria (AIIE) for a “UN Careers Night”. It proved to be a wonderful evening with esteemed guests: Ian Howie, Adrian Morrice, and Lynette Phoung.

The knowledge, experience and advice from our guests were invaluable. We hope that those of you who attended found some inspiration and are further pondering your future career endeavours in international relations.

Just by having a glance around the room, it was evident that all of the attendees were captivated by each of the three guest speakers.

Here are some quotes that really had an impact:

“Go where your passion is”. It is a competitive process applying for positions within the United Nations and its innumerable funds, agencies, and programs. However, you should follow your true passions and you will get there”.

“We have to do better”

“Learning is a two-way street” regarding finding a mentor in someone. That more experienced individual can also learn from you and you can provide them another perspective.

“You don’t know who will be on an interview panel one day” regarding the power of networking and volunteering/internships. 

There was serious discussion about the more difficult parts of working for the UN. This included family (partners, children), being ready to move to other parts of the world when asked/is necessary, and getting disillusioned at times due to various reasons. Advice that was given was that when that happens, “it is perhaps time to move on”. 

A career in international relations is so rewarding but at the same time there are sacrifices that need to be made so this needs to be kept in mind.

All three special guests encouraged volunteering, which will be further discussed in the blog below.

Attending YP committee members 

(L-R: Libby Crozier, Isha Chawla, Shahzad Halmurad, Christopher Alory, Juliette Haresign, and Che Mudunna)


There have been over two million peacekeepers from 125 countries who have served in 71 operations around the world since 1948. The 30th of May is a day to honour these amazing individuals.

Adrian Morrice, who was one of our guest speakers began his career in the Australian Navy. He then joined UN peacekeeping operations and political missions in Liberia, Western Sahara, Timor Leste, and Sierra Leone. The work included a decade supporting transitional elections in these locations and in Nigeria, Nepal, Mexico, Pakistan and Thailand.

He then worked at UN headquarters in New York from 2005-2011 with the peacekeeping and political departments focusing on new approaches to peacekeeping and peacebuilding, the evolution of thinking on transitional political arrangements, civilian control of security forces, and UN reform.

Adrian then spent over six years in Myanmar, including as the UN adviser to the conflict parties’ Joint Ceasefire Monitoring Committee. Before returning to Australia, Adrian was the UN sustainable peace advisor in Nepal 2020-2023 working on pandemic response, climate change and digital violence on social media. 


May 20th- 26th was National Volunteer Week in Australia and it is an opportunity to shine a light on the importance of volunteering. It is something to reflect on especially following our latest event where it was brought up frequently by our guest speakers.

Volunteering is a voluntary act of service provided by either an individual or group. It can be undertaken in many forms. UN Volunteers states that “[g]lobally, every 8th person volunteers”.

There are many reasons that individuals choose to volunteer. Some people inherently feel a need or desire to give back in some way. It also gives individuals a sense of purpose and meaning. Others see it not only as an opportunity for future work prospects but a way in which to gain experience. You are also able to not only gain skills but pass on your own knowledge, which can change lives!

Becoming involved in causes that you are passionate about also assist us in building character and especially helping in the development of our identities in youth.

Volunteering means making new acquaintances, new friends, and new mentors perhaps. It is important not to underestimate the power and value in networking. It is an act that can provide opportunities you otherwise may not have and sets you apart. 

Sometimes it is about taking risks and taking yourself outside of your comfort zone where you can learn new skills and equip yourself the tools for your future.

All United Nations Young Professionals committee members in Australia are volunteers who come from a multitude of different cultural, educational, and employment backgrounds.

In addition, a good proportion of the Young Professionals Victoria committee are volunteers elsewhere.

May 20th was World Bee Day dedicated to raising awareness of the importance of pollinators and their contribution to sustainable development.

We all rely on bees for our survival and sadly they are under increasing threat. Pollination is an integral process in maintaining survival of our ecosystems. Extinction rates are 100 to 1,000 times higher than normal due to the impact of humans.

To read more, please click here.


Our next Mingles event has been confirmed!

Date: Tuesday 11th of June

Where: The Emerald Peacock on the rooftop

Time: 5:30pm onwards

Our reserved section will be clearly marked.

Everybody is welcome!




The event celebrating Jane Goodall’es latest documentary, ‘Reasons for Hope’ and her Australian tour, ‘An Evening with Jane Goodall’ will be included in next month’s June edition of the UNAAV YP blog!

Libby Crozier

Marketing and Communications Coordinator

On behalf of the UNAAV YP Committee

Remember to follow us to keep up-to-date with our events and news:

IG @unypvic

FB UNAA – Victorian Young Professionals   United Nations Association of Victoria Victorian Division

Posted in YP