AUJS seminar attracts top politicians

August 30, 2012 by  
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AUJS has run its fifteenth star-studded fifteenth year premier AUJS Political Training Seminar—PTS—in Canberra.

With Kevin Rudd


The Australasian Union of Jewish Students sent 45 Jewish members to Parliament House, Canberra, to engage with Australia’s leading politicians on a range of policy and political debates at its annual conference.

“In year fifteen, AUJS PTS enjoyed its best year yet,” said AUJS President Daniel Nash. “AUJS PTS continues to be one of AUJS’s and the Jewish community’s stellar programs for fostering the interest of Jewish youth in Australian politics and in advocacy for Israel and Australian Jewry.”

With Malcolm Turnbull


AUJS PTS 2012 was privileged to have been exclusively addressed by sixteen federal parliamentarians – including seven members of the Coalition front bench, and several government ministers.

For the first time, AUJS was joined by the federal Leader of the Opposition and welcomed Tony Abbott back to PTS. AUJS was also addressed by the Leader of The Nationals, Warren Truss; Deputy Leader of the Australian Greens, Adam Bandt; Shadow Attorney-General, Senator George Brandis; Minister for Immigration and Citizenship, Chris Bowen; former Prime Minister, Kevin Rudd; Senator Doug Cameron; Minister for Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy, Senator Stephen Conroy and his Shadow, Malcolm Turnbull; the United States Ambassador to Australia, His Excellency Jeffrey Bleich; Jewish federal parliamentarians Michael Danby, Mark Dreyfus and Josh Frydenberg; high profile Liberals Andrew Robb from Victoria, and Christopher Pyne and Senator Simon Birmingham from South Australia; adviser to the Prime Minister, Bruce Wolpe; and Australia’s first indigenous member of the House of Representatives, Ken Wyatt.

Tony Abbott addresses the seminar

“There’s no opportunity like PTS anywhere,” said conference co-ordinator and AUJS National Political Affairs Director Alexander Polson. “In terms of the speakers PTS attracts, and the opportunity that AUJS presents for students to grapple with Australia’s sharpest political minds, there’s just no competition. We were very privileged to have been joined by such distinguished political leaders.”

Daniel Nash, Warren Truss and Alexander Polson

PTS had a strong showing from the Jewish community as well, with Canberra community President, Professor Kim Rubenstein; Executive Director of the Executive Council of Australian Jewry, Peter Wertheim; Chief Executive Officer of the NSW Jewish Board of Deputies, Vic Alhadeff; and Director of International and Community Affairs at AIJAC, Jeremy Jones, all joining AUJS in Canberra to discuss the value of political activism as young Jews and Zionists. “For me, PTS was an initiation into the sometimes saucy world of Australian politics. With unparalleled access to the nation’s leaders, PTS provides an intimate forum for discussing the key issues that Australia must confront,” said participant Noey Kolt. “PTS truly is an unparalleled opportunity for Jewish university students – and indeed students anywhere – to engage with political life and meet with the individuals who lead this country,” said Nash.

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