Sydney student to represent Australia in the Hague

December 8, 2014 by Michelle Favero
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For Emanuel School student, Daniel Hellig-Smith, rubbing shoulders with diplomats and policy makers will soon be par for the course. 

Daniel Hellig-Smith

Daniel Hellig-Smith

Daniel, who is in Year 12 (2015), has been selected as one of a group of 20 Australian students who will attend The Hague International Model UN (THIMUN) in January 2015.

Daniel was chosen to represent Australia at the prestigious international program when he attended the UN Youth National Conference in July. He was chosen from a pool of over 200 talented applicants and it was Daniel’s exceptional debating and personal skills that contributed to his selection.

The trip will see the group visit a number of European countries where they will meet with diplomats and NGOs. As the only Jewish student on the tour, he is looking forward to visiting Germany and exploring German architecture, culture, the Holocaust and antisemitism with his cohort.

The group will spend their last week of the tour at The Hague with 4000 other students from around the world. At THIMUM, students form multi-national committees to debate issues and develop policies. Daniel has been allocated to the Committee for Administrative and Budgetary, which is part of the General Assembly. He will be asked to create a resolution which will then be debated in that Chamber.

Daniel’s excitement is contagious and he sees this as a life-changing opportunity: “I am extremely grateful for the opportunity to represent Australia at such a prestigious international conference. I am incredibly excited to travel around Europe and learn from diplomats and NGOs and I am hoping that this trip allows me to further my dream to become a representative of the United Nations from Australia’.

Anne Hastings, Principal of Emanuel School said: ‘Daniel is a talented debater and has an insatiable thirst for knowledge. He is the perfect representative for the School and Australia and being one of only 20 students to be selected for this highly prestigious program is an exceptional achievement’.

Daniel is passionate about history and is doing five units of the subject for his HSC.

He is planning on studying Politics, Philosophy and Economics in Canberra after his HSC, which will lead him closer to his career goal.

In 2013 Daniel volunteered with other Emanuel students in East Timor with Destination Dreaming. Before he left, Daniel helped to raise money for children’s education in the country and, when in East Timor, volunteered at a school, teaching English and helping build fences to secure the School’s Kindergarten. The books and writing equipment that Emanuel students collected, and Daniel and his peers took with them, were put to good use.

2013 was a busy year for Daniel – he also won the coveted Evatt Trophy Competition, Australia’s largest and most prestigious High School debating competition – the youngest student ever to do so. He has also been nominated to the YMCA NSW Youth Parliament for the last two years. This year he has completed HSC Extension Mathematics as an accelerated student, while still in Year 11.

Daniel is seeking sponsorship for his trip. If readers would like to contribute to helping fund this exceptional citizen, please contact Michelle Favero on 8383 7330 or mfavero@emanuelschool.nsw.edu.au

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