United Nations


We are honoured to have His Excellency General the Honourable David Hurley AC DSC (Ret'd), Governor-General of the Commonwealth of Australia as the Patron-in-Chief, and Senator the Hon Marise Payne, Australian Minister for Foreign Affairs, Minister for Women, as Patron of Young Australians in International Affairs.  



His Excellency General the Honourable David Hurley AC DSC (Retd)

Governor-General of the

Commonwealth of Australia

"I am delighted to become Patron-in-Chief of Young Australians in International Affairs.


We live in an incredibly fast-paced and exciting time. The global environment, and Indo-Pacific region in particular, is dynamic and offers opportunities and challenges for Australia. It is important to our future prosperity that the next generation of leaders and professionals are engaged with international affairs and build connections and expertise.


I am looking forward to being involved as Patron-in-Chief and supporting the team in their important mission."


His Excellency General the Honourable David John Hurley AC DSC (Retd) was sworn in as the Governor-General of the Commonwealth of Australia on 1 July 2019.

David Hurley joined the Australian Army in January 1972, graduating from the Royal Military College, Duntroon into the Royal Australian Infantry Corps. In a long and distinguished 42-year military career, his service culminated with his appointment as Chief of the Defence Force.

He commanded the 1st Battalion, The Royal Australian Regiment during Operation SOLACE in Somalia in 1993, receiving the Distinguished Service Cross. Following promotion to Colonel, he was appointed Chief of Staff, Headquarters 1st Division in June 1994, attending the U.S. Army War College in 1996 and 1997. He commanded the 1st Brigade from 1999-2000 in Darwin, supporting Australian-led operations in East Timor. He was appointed the inaugural Chief of Capability Development Group from 2003-07, Chief of Joint Operations Command in October 2007, and Vice Chief of the Defence Force in July 2008. Promoted to General, he succeeded Air Chief Marshal Angus Houston as Chief of the Defence Force on 4 July 2011 until his retirement on 30 June 2014. In 2010, he was appointed a Companion of the Order of Australia for eminent service to the Australian Defence Force.

Prior to being sworn in as Governor-General, David Hurley served as the 38th Governor of New South Wales from October 2014 – May 2019.

David Hurley was born in Wollongong, New South Wales on 26 August 1953, the son of Norma and James Hurley. His father was an Illawarra steelworker and his mother worked in a grocery store. He grew up in Port Kembla and attended Port Kembla High School where he completed his Higher School Certificate in 1971. He graduated with a Bachelor of Arts and Graduate Diploma in Defence Studies from the Royal Military College, Duntroon in 1975. He is married to Linda with whom he has three children: Caitlin, Marcus and Amelia.

He was awarded an Honorary Doctorate of Letters from the University of Wollongong in 2013; a Doctor of the University, honoris causa, from the University of New South Wales in 2015; made a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Technology and Engineering in 2016; and awarded an Honorary Doctorate from Macquarie University in 2017.



Senator the Hon Marise Payne 

Australian Minister for Foreign Affairs

"I commend YAIA's efforts to foster a passion and interest in foreign policy in young Australians.

Engagement with young Australians is key to make Australia, stronger, safer and more prosperous in an increasingly contested global strategic environment. The ongoing COVID-19 crisis and the associated economic, social and strategic implications will pose significant public policy challenges for many years to come, which future generations of Australian leaders will be tasked to address. 

In my role as Minister for Foreign Affairs and Minister for Women, I look forward to working with YAIA to support young Australian men and women develop and strengthen their diplomatic and academic skills to help advance Australia's national interests and values for decades to come."


Marise Payne was appointed Australia’s Minister for Foreign Affairs on 28 August 2018.

A Senator for NSW since 1997, she has more than two decades’ parliamentary experience including 12 years’ membership of the Joint Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade. She is a former Minister for Human Services, and has held several shadow ministries.

The Senator was appointed Minister for Defence in September 2015. In this time, she delivered the 2016 Defence White Paper, the Integrated Investment Plan, and Defence Industry Policy Statement. She oversaw a major renewal of the Australian Defence Force’s capabilities and led the organisation’s increased international engagement program with allies and partners.

She has been a member of the Liberal Party since 1982, serving on the NSW State Executive for 10 years, and was the Young Liberals’ first female President.

The Minister holds a Bachelor of Laws and a Bachelor of Arts from the University of NSW.

She and her partner, NSW Minister for Western Sydney, WestConnex and Sport, Stuart Ayres, live in western Sydney.