Greetings from Australia,
My name is Edward Popa and I am studying the combined degree of the B Business and Commerce (Advanced Business Leadership)/ B Laws at the University of Western Sydney, Australia. I am 18 years old and have lived in Sydney all my life, though I have travelled extensively throughout Europe and Asia. On my down time I enjoy working out, clubbing with friends and volunteering with local church and community organisations. One example of this is my ongoing work with Guide Dogs NSW. As part of their puppy raising program, I have taken on the challenge of raising a labrador named Davina from 2 months of age, all the way to 14 months. After this time I will return her and if I have done my job correctly, she will be a valuable aid to the blind and vision impaired.
The following are answers to questions I was asked as part of my application to be a part of the student communications team. I hope to deliver on the promises made and exceed expectations.
Why do you want to be a part of this opportunity?
I have always had a passion for social justice and service in the community, striving to work for the benefit of the marginalised and disadvantaged. Often though, I saw my age as a real barrier to effecting any meaningful or lasting change. My knowledge of just how to go about helping others was a further limitation. I feel that the opportunity to serve as part of a communications team in Madrid would help me cement in my mind, some ways through which actual change could be effected. The opportunity to listen to and report on the progress of the conference is a truly unique and fulfilling one. No doubt, the quality of speakers and what they have to say about strengthening the civic and social responsibilities of higher education would positively impart a sense of direction to me. I feel that if given this opportunity, I would fully utilise the time available to me and work tirelessly with my peers to inform a broader audience through the power of social media and the internet.
What inspires you most about the global civic engagement movement?
In this globalised world, it is an unfortunate reality that bad news is instantaneously disseminated to all. This constant barrage of negativity where senseless killing, boundless greed and environmental destruction are common features of the evening news may lead one to give up hope. The thought that countries pursue a “national” interest and that individuals act only for themselves and their economic benefit is again, a reality. The global civic engagement movement is a rare exception to this common negativity. It provides hope for positive change, hope for the future. By encouraging students and academics around the world to engage themselves for the benefit of their local and international communities, positive rather than negative is emphasised. University education is a privilege, the benefits of which should be enjoyed, directly or indirectly, by all. What inspires me most, is the thought of being a part of something better and bigger than myself. A global movement, for global good.
Thank you for your time, and for those of you attending the conference, I look forward to meeting with you.
Edward James Popa
University of Western Sydney