FELLOWS

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NIAMH CALLINAN

Europe & Eurasia Fellow

Niamh holds a Bachelor of International and Global Studies with a double major in Political Economy and Government and International Relations during which time she undertook a six-month exchange to Glasgow. She is currently undertaking her Masters in International Law at the University of Sydney. 

Niamh was a Delegate at the Young Diplomats Forum held by the Global Diplomatic Forum in Malaysia 2018, a participant at the 2019 Youth Leadership Conference in South Africa and is currently a scholar with Global Voices and one of three Australian Delegates to the Youth Working Group of the G20. 

Niamh has previously published articles with YAIIA, and participated in the organisation’s Future Leadership Series in 2019. Niamh has also worked with UN Youth NSW, an organisation that is focused on empowering and educating young Australians on global issues. She was the 2019 Voice Public Speaking Competition Chief Judge and the 2020 Director of Communications.

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ANNA DAS

Climate Change Fellow

Anna is a recent graduate of the Master of Geography at the University of Melbourne, where she developed a strong interest in the social and political dimensions of environmental change.

As the YAIA Climate Change Fellow she plans to examine how institutions, economies, and people are responding to a new phase of global climate action. Drawing on her studies in Geography, she is particularly interested in exploring the values and assumptions behind various approaches to climate change policy.

She looks forward to putting the political dynamics of global climate action into a wider context, grounding her analysis in the history and stories of affected communities and environments.

Throughout her studies Anna worked with Oaktree in advocacy and political engagement, worked as a Research Assistant at the University of Melbourne, and interned at the Australia India Institute. 

JACK McDERMOTT

Indo-Pacific Fellow

Jack is a recent graduate of the Australian National University, holding a Bachelor of Arts/Bachelor of International Relations (Honours).

 

He has engaged actively with the Indo-Pacific region throughout his undergraduate career, travelling to Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam for coursework, and completing a minor in Indonesian language. He finished his studies with a thesis examining perceptions of China’s influence and support for globalisation in East and Southeast Asia, for which he was awarded First Class Honours.

 

His current interests include evolution and change in the international political economy, contemporary politics in Southeast Asia, and community-led approaches to international development, crisis management and disaster resilience. He is currently working as a Policy Officer at Volunteering Australia, and volunteering with the Australia-Indonesia Youth Association (ACT).

 

As Indo-Pacific Fellow, Jack hopes to share conversations and insights from the region, and to highlight the local political and cultural aspects of contemporary global change.

EMILY MEGGS

Latin America Fellow

Emily is a Master of International Development Practice graduate from Monash University. She has a passion for lifelong learning and a decade long interest in Latin American affairs.

 

Emily became enthusiastic about communications during her master's degree where she became heavily involved with her master's student association, serving as the communications officer, president, and editor. She interned at the Victorian branch of the Australian Institute for International Affairs.

 

Emily currently works for Global Voices and WhyDev in communications positions and is also undertaking an Australian Volunteers International position as a digital literacy officer for Basketball Fiji. She also volunteers her time on the communications team of the Australia Latam Emerging Leaders Dialogue. Emily's research interests include the gender, peace, development, and security agenda in the Andes. When not reading, researching, or writing, Emily loves to go to the football, cuddle with her cats, or just spend time with her family and friends.

CHRISTINA BURJAN

China Fellow

Christina is a Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Advanced Studies student at the University of Sydney. In 2020, she received the Dean's List of Excellence in Academic Performance award upon completion of her majors in Government and International Relations, and German. Having developed a keen interest in Chinese foreign relations, she is currently undertaking an honours project, which will analyse China's territorial conflicts.

Christina attained a diploma from the United Nations Association of Australia and has partaken in several Sydney Model United Nations conferences, having received the commendation of Best Delegate in 2020. With a strong interest in linguistic studies, she recently completed an internship at the Goethe Institut Sydney and has achieved a Level 103 certification in Russian.

As the China fellow, Christina is looking forward to writing about developments within Chinese foreign and domestic policy, as well as the regional and global geostrategic implications that these present.

MIRCO DI GIACOMO

Pacific Fellow

Mirco is a final-year Bachelor of International Relations student at the University of Adelaide.

Mirco has previously contributed to Insights on Taiwan and Chinese affairs and currently authors pieces on national and international politics for On Dit. He is also a Westpac Scholar, and won a number of academic prizes, including an ELP grant, multiple Executive Dean’s Recognitions of High Achievement and an Ecoversity Award.

He has recently completed an internship with Tony Piccolo, MP and a Summer Research Scholarship with the UofA Department of History. Mirco was also employed by the UofA School of Social Sciences as Research Assistant, co-authoring a technical-report for a governmental organisation. Lately he completed an internship at the UofA Department of Politics & International Relations, with Dr Tubilewicz, researching Chinese politics.

Currently, he is Editor-in-Chief of Illustratio: Adelaide Journal of Politics and International Relations, member of the International Association for Political Science Students’ Asia & Oceania Research Committee and Co-Researcher with the UofA researching volunteering in regional communities.

BRONTE MUNRO

Cyber & Technology Fellow

Bronte is a graduate of the University of Sydney, with a Bachelor of International and Global Studies, majoring in International Business and European Studies. She is currently studying a Master of Cyber Security Analysis at Macquarie University, and is interested in the relationship between emerging cybersecurity policy and conventional foreign and defence policy.

 

Bronte holds a Certificate IV in Leadership and Management for her in-country leadership on social enterprise projects in Timor-Leste and Cambodia with Project Everest Ventures. In 2020, the US Consul General awarded Bronte a Policy Report Award for research into the impact of COVID-19 on US cybersecurity through her studies at the United States Studies Centre. She has also published on similar topics with the Young Diplomats Society.

 

As the Cyber & Technology Fellow, Bronte will be exploring the shifts in the traditional relationships between the public and private sector, and how some major powers are better suited to leveraging the benefits of cyberspace than others.

ELLEN VAN BEUKERING

Australian Foreign Policy Fellow

Ellen is a current Bachelor of International Security Studies and Science student at the Australian National University, where she was recognised under the National Scholars Program and awarded a scholarship in 2019. She is pursuing a minor in Peace and Conflict Studies and has a strong interest in languages, with a high proficiency in Dutch and French and growing proficiency in Russian.

Although she is fascinated by all aspects of international relations, Ellen’s specific passion for Australian Foreign Policy was sparked through her employment as an assistant at Parliament House in Canberra. In particular, she is interested in Australia’s role as a middle power on the world stage and how Australia balances its reputation and interstate relations with the pursuit of its national interests.

Ellen is excited to explore numerous aspects of Australia’s foreign policy and its implications for the current geopolitical environment in her writing.