Gawler’s Raffaele Piccolo has been selected to join 240 young leaders from around the world in the youth development program, The Ship for World Youth Leaders Program, operated by the Cabinet Office of the Government of Japan.
Raffaele is one of 12 young Australians, and the only South Australian, selected to participate in the program.
Raffaele has also been appointed an Assistant National Leader of the Australian Delegation.
The program aims to enhance participants’ international outlook and foster a spirit of international co-operation in order to develop young leaders who are willing to make positive changes in their local communities and on a global scale.
Raffaele Piccolo said it was an “absolute honour and privilege” to be selected to participate in the program.
“While the proliferation of information technologies has made instantaneous communication across large distances readily accessible, direct person to person contact and communication remains the key to bridging divides amongst people,” he said.
Raffaele will travel to Japan on January 15, 2018, to embark on a six-week program that will see participants board the Nippon Maru “Ship for World Youth” where they will live and study, discuss global issues together and participate in multi-cultural exchange activities.
Raffaele said he was looking forward to the opportunity to interact with, and learn from, other young community leaders.
“I am keen to hear of the issues in their respective communities, and how they have addressed these matters,” he said.
“The program environment is truly unique. It seeks to, for a short period, take participants away from their daily distractions, and to focus their attention on building stronger relationships.
“The purpose of building stronger, cross-national, and cross-cultural relationships is to foster a more peaceful world.
“This is a timely initiative given the current state of international affairs.
“I am acutely aware that I, and the delegation, will be representing Australia to the world. I hope to do my local community proud.”
While on board he will attend seminars conducted by field experts, plan independent activities and convene participant-led workshops around themes of cross-cultural understanding, volunteerism, education and youth-led change.
Raffaele will visit Singapore, India and Sri Lanka as part of this journey alongside delegations from India, Mexico, Mozambique, Oman, Peru, Poland, South Africa, Spain, Sri Lanka and Japan.
He will meet local dignitaries in Japan (including the Prime Minister oShinzō Abe), India and Sri Lanka.
He will shortly be approaching local businesses and groups for assistance in sourcing appropriate local, Australian products, to gift to these dignitaries.