Two young high achieving members of the Australian Defence Organisation have joined a youth delegation to the high-level Manama Dialogue in Bahrain.
Flight Lieutenant Melissa Houston and Farooq Mohammad attended the Manama Dialogue through a partnership between Defence and Global Voices, a foundation which promotes young Australians’ participation in diplomacy and strategic policy.
The Manama Dialogue is considered the primary security forum for the Gulf and Middle East. It was conducted from 7 to 9 December and attracted senior political and military representatives from more than 20 countries.
Minister for Defence Science and Personnel, Warren Snowdon, said the opportunity for youth delegates to attend high-level international summits like the Manama Dialogue is crucial in building the capacity of Defence’s next generation of leaders.
“Melissa and Farooq have gained an important insight into strategic-level thinking on Middle East regional security priorities such as Syria. Their involvement in Bahrain built upon the knowledge and connections they made as part of a youth contingent at the NATO Leaders’ Summit in Chicago in May,” Mr Snowdon said.
In the lead up to the Manama Dialogue, Melissa and Farooq prepared research papers on topics relevant to Middle East regional security. In Bahrain they attended sessions on Middle East security including a focussed discussion on the situation in Syria. They had private meetings with the Vice Chief of the Defence Force Air Marshal Mark Binskin.
Defence will continue the partnership with Global Voices in 2013. Through this partnership, Air Marshal Binskin and Deputy Secretary for Strategy, Brendan Sargeant, will select one young ADF member and one Defence civilian to attend two key international summits.
Imagery is available at: http://images.defence.gov.au/20121209adf00000_8577.jpg
Marcus Butler (Minister Snowdon) (02) 6277 7820 or 0417 917 796
Defence Media Operations (02) 6127 1999