A Girton Grammar Year 12 student of Global Politics has been granted a place on the coveted 2016-2017 UN Youth Australia Young Diplomats Tour of Europe and will visit 9 countries in 4 weeks to explore the complex realities of diplomacy in the 21st Century.
Blake Reilly is one of only 16 high-school students from across Australia to be selected to attend the tour, from a field of hundreds of applicants. Selection was through a written submission and an interview testing the applicant’s level of understanding of modern global political issues.
Headmaster at Girton Grammar School, Mr Matthew Maruff, said that he was completely unsurprised that Blake had been selected for this important tour of Europe.
“Blake’s interest in politics is well known around the School and his knowledge about what is happening on the global political front rivals some of the best informed adults on the subject.
“It is so gratifying to see such a young person passionate about the places, people and forces that have shaped the world as we know it,” he said.
Mr Maruff said that the School was recently visited by the Right Honourable, The Lord “Paddy” Ashdown, a prominent British politician and former leader of the Liberal Democrats.
“Even Lord Ashdown was impressed by the line of questions that Blake asked him about the political ramifications of Australia’s future position as an Asian nation,” Mr Maruff said.
The UN Youth Australia tour of Europe is an annual event with 16 young leaders selected from around Australia to meet and engage with the key players in international diplomacy including UN representatives, European politicians, diplomats, leading thinkers, NGOs and grassroots organisations. From the French Revolution to the fall of the Berlin Wall, the group will explore the big moments, ideas and challenges that our world leaders have grappled with over the past 400 years. The tour will culminate in London, where students will be part of a three-day intensive placement run in partnership with world-leading NGOs.
“Blake is a School Vice Captain at Girton Grammar and a popular and natural leader.
“Combined with his passionate interest in influencing the international agenda plus advocacy and change-making, he will flourish on this tour and we are immensely proud of him,” Mr Maruff said.
Blake Reilly with Lord “Paddy” Ashdown, earlier this year: