Australian Foreign Policy Fellow
Grace holds a Bachelor of Laws (Honours) and a Bachelor of Arts (majoring in International Relations) from Macquarie University. She has also completed a Graduate Diploma of Legal Practice and was admitted as a lawyer in 2023. She is currently studying a Master of Laws at the Australian National University.
Grace has experience working for both the Federal and NSW governments and the not-for-profit sector. She is currently working as a Lawyer in the private sector. As a result, Grace has developed a unique skill set allowing her to research, analyse and write about public policy issues, participate in nuanced policy discussions, consider solutions and shape public policy in a meaningful way.
Grace has a strong interest in human rights, international law and foreign affairs. She is keen to provide commentary and analysis on developments in Australian foreign policy as a fellow.
Michaela Gyasi-Agyei is a Ghanaian-Australian lawyer. She completed a Bachelors of Economics/Laws (Honours) at the University of Queensland in 2022, and graduated as Valedictorian of her cohort. Michaela was previously Secretary of the University of Queensland African Students Association and a Youth Leader in Ghanaians Queensland. She is currently a Youth Leader at the African Australian Advocacy Centre.
Michaela was awarded first place in the Young Diplomats Society’s 2023 Foreign Policy Case Competition. Her article titled “Coup contagion? The state of democracy in Africa” was published in the Young Diplomats Society’s 2023 Year in Review. In October 2022, Michaela participated in a placement at the German Embassy in Canberra, with the Girls Leadership Network.
Michaela looks forward to combining her interests in geopolitics, human rights and the diverse cultures of Africa to explore issues and developments in the region.
United States Fellow
Shae Potter contributes private sector expertise to The Fellowship as the Asia Pacific Regional Lead for Deloitte's Global Insider Threat program. Responsible for securing Deloitte's IP and client data, she manages a team of analysts across the region, addressing complex technological and behavioral risks.
Shae is versed in global business strategy and leadership through her current pursuit of a part-time Master of Business Administration at the University of Sydney, with her international relations expertise underpinned by a bachelor of Political, Economic and Social Sciences.
She has a deep personal interest in US domestic and foreign policy and frequently attends events hosted by the US Consul General and the Unites States Studies Centre. Through her professional role and academic pursuits, Shae maintains a comprehensive perspective on the dynamics between international business and politics.
South Pacific Fellow
Katherine is a New Colombo Plan Scholar for Singapore and Fiji and fifth-year Law and International Relations student at the Australian National University.
In 2023, motivated by a determination to better understand how human rights and international law operate in the South Pacific, she spent four months working with the International Legal Team at the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat. This work canvassed several issues at the forefront of Pacific diplomacy: sea-level rise, Japan’s discharge of radioactive waste into the Pacific Ocean, relations with Bougainville and West Papua, and more.
Katherine’s interest in understanding the dynamics of the region then led her to the Fiji Human Rights and Anti-Discrimination Commission, where she interned with the Complaints and Education teams, working with Fijian communities to address and raise awareness on human rights.
This experience has not only imparted in Katherine a love for the Pacific region, but also immersed her in a unique perspective that has become an invaluable asset to her approach to international affairs.
Middle East Fellow
Verena is a final year Law/Arts student, set to complete her studies early this year. She has a strong passion for international law and is particularly interested in Middle Eastern policy.
A proud Egyptian/Australian, Verena enjoys applying her degree in a manner that increases education about the flourishing region. In her spare time, you may find Verena working behind-the-scenes on ‘All Things MENAA’, an independent channel she founded, that provides English coverage on regional affairs. She regularly publishes infographic and video content, explaining regional developments, and emerging stories.
She strives to utilise her proficiency in Arabic, cultural and political awareness of the region, and to grow a reliable civilian media platform that counters mainstream media misinformation and mistranslations.
Verena is excited to introduce insights that reflect the region's reality, and promote bilateral relations with emerging regional powers.
East Asia Fellow
Yige is a fourth-year Bachelor of Philosophy and Diploma of Languages student at the Australian National University, majoring in International Relations and Chinese.
As a 1.5-generation Chinese–Australian, Yige’s interdisciplinary research centres on Chinese diasporas in Australia and Southeast Asia, exploring the complex intersections of migration, global politics and belonging. She is more broadly interested in the non-traditional security challenges facing East Asia, from climate change and food security to gender and demography, as well as the impact of historical memory in shaping the international relations of the region.
Yige is an editor at the East Asia Forum, a policy officer at Austrade and was a 2022 Westpac Exchange Scholar, where she studied the histories and politics of Chinese migrations to Southeast Asia at Yale-NUS College, Singapore.
As East Asia Fellow, Yige is excited to explore the political, cultural and historical dynamics shaping the international relations of the region.
Europe & Eurasia Fellow
Martin R Wirkus is a dynamic professional with a passion for the Central and East Asian region. His journey commenced with a high school interest in international affairs, leading him to take a transformative gap year in mainland China in 2018. Upon returning to Australia, he dedicated himself to completing his Bachelor of Urban Development at Queensland University of Technology.
As a New Colombo Plan Scholar with the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Martin underwent intensive Mandarin training at National Taiwan University. And has continued fostering Asian collaboration through internships in the Chinese Construction Industry. Martin's diverse experiences, including serving as the Chapter President for the Australia China Youth Association and his professional background in the Australian building industry, provide him with a unique perspective on the sustainable development of the region.
Martin is excited about exploring the emerging security challenges in Central and East Asian countries, along with delving into the political, economic, and social issues that define this diverse region.
Isha is a graduate from the University of Sydney in Politics, International Relations, and Political Economy. She is an emerging researcher and policy analyst with a keen interest in Australia’s future in the Indo Pacific, climate security and foreign policy.
Isha has worked as a policy researcher for the Australian Humans Rights Commission, the United States Studies Centre and most recently Legal Aid NSW where she co-authored a literature review that was awarded the 2023 Sydney Policy Reform Project Prize. In addition, she has written several pieces for the Young Diplomats Society and worked in the non-profit sector with the Sydney Peace Foundation and Australia reMADE.
She is currently working at Penguin Random House in Social Impact and is very excited to explore and investigate the connections and challenges in the Indo Pacific while considering its impact on the region.
Latin America Fellow
Hannah recently completed her Bachelor of International Relations from The University of Adelaide. Her final semester was undertaken at The Pontifical Catholic University in Chile, where she undertook topics in Spanish including Modern Latin American History and South American Geography. From this experience, she developed a keen interest in the region and seeks to challenge misguided perceptions of the region often displayed in the media.
Her interests and specialisations include social justice, linguistics, sustainability, and grassroots movements. She completed an internship with the Climate and Sustainability Policy Research Group, researching and mapping grassroots climate change movements across Australia. Her spare time is spent studying Portuguese, and reading Latin American classical fiction and nonfiction in order to broaden her knowledge of the region.
Hannah looks forward to undertaking postgraduate study in the future and investigating grassroots movements in Latin America.