KOTA KINABALU: Twelve lucky young Malaysian community and business leaders have been selected from a pool of 300 emerging leaders from across the Commonwealth to participate in the Duke of Edinburgh’s 11th Commonwealth Study Conferences (CSC).
Dubbed one of the world’s most innovative leadership programmes, the event was commenced in 1956 by His Royal Highness, Prince Philip, with the intent to study as well as to listen to views and opinions on the human problems of industrial communities in the Commonwealth.
More than 8,000 people have taken part in Commonwealth Study Conferences across the world, including several programmes that have been held in Malaysia.
This year, the 12 Malaysians from different professional backgrounds and representing different parts of the country are travelling throughout Canada as part of the conference.
The opening plenary was held in Banff, Alberta from June 3 to 5 in the presence of Her Royal Highness The Princess Royal, Princess Anne, prior to delegates heading out across Canada on their study tours.
The closing plenary will be held in Montreal from June 15 to 18.
The Commonwealth Association of Leadership Malaysia (CALM), founded in 2018, was tasked with selecting the 12, led by its president Hanaa Wong Abdullah and a four-member selection team.
"We were delighted to receive almost 40 very impressive applications from all over Malaysia – it was an incredibly difficult process to edit the list to the dozen we ended up selecting," she said in a statement here on Tuesday (June 13).
"But we are so proud of the delegation we have sent.
"These individuals will bring back amazing experiences and global connections that will help drive Malaysia’s continued success on the world stage," she added.
One of the participants, Michelle de la Harpe said she had eyed to take part in the event the moment she heard of it.
"It is truly a privilege to have been chosen to participate in the conference.
"Not only have we started debating in the first two days of the opening plenary within our preassigned study groups on new topics, but even amongst my fellow Malaysians in topics that do not apply to our country.
"In only two days I have already learned so much that has reassured me of my reason and direction in life and I look forward to the next leg of the study tour," said de la Harpe, who is the president of NGO Meraki Daat Sabah Initiative.
Policy analyst Adelene Teo was equally excited to be involved in the conference.
"A real experiential learning right from the start of the journey to Canada itself. One that tests and builds resilience, patience, adaptability, innovativeness, and most importantly, the ability to take a step back when required - all of which are key leadership qualities," she said.