Griffith University has been designated a United Nations (UN) Millennium Fellows Campus for 2020, the only university in the country and the wider Oceania region to achieve the title.

1400 universities applied for the international leadership opportunity, with Griffith one of just 80 institutions recognised by the UN.

Vice Chancellor and President Professor Carolyn Evans said it was an extremely impressive achievement that would provide an exciting professional pathway for 17 Griffith students selected as UN Millennium Fellows.

“Griffith is the only Australian university to be designated a UN Millennium Fellows Campus for 2020, based on our support for and growing contribution towards the UN Sustainability and Development Goals,” Professor Evans said.

“The Fellowship focuses on implementation of the UN SDGs, which is one of the priorities for Griffith and aligns to several of our core values.

“These values include outstanding scholarship that makes a major contribution to society, multi-disciplinary teams that address key issues of our times and contributing to a robust, equitable and environmentally sustainable society.

“Griffith is committed to equipping the next generation of leaders, innovators and decision makers with the knowledge and skills to tackle global challenges.

“As part of the UN Millennium Fellowship, students will participate in a UN training program and lead the development and implementation of SDG projects at Griffith over the remainder of the year.

“In doing so, they will make a significant contribution to the University’s goal of being ranked in the top 200 globally for the SDGs by 2025.”

Professor Evans said Griffith Honours College had been pivotal in securing the prestigious opportunity.

“A key reason for Griffith’s success in this endeavour is the college’s expertise in supporting and partnering with students to establish social enterprises, including over of decade of engagement with Enactus and Hult Prize on campus, international competitions that promote innovation and social enterprise encouraging startup projects aligned to the UN SDGs.”

Griffith Honours College Program Co-ordinator Kim Holmes said Griffith was committed to providing extra-curricular leadership opportunities for students to acquire the knowledge and skills needed to enact sustainable development.

“Opportunities to test their skills and capabilities differentiate our students, producing graduates of the future who are committed to enabling change and positive social impact,” she said.

“We congratulate all 17 Millennium Fellows including Kimberley Bates and Rachel Kapnias who will also perform the roles of Campus Directors for Griffith’s UN Millennium Fellows Class of 2020.

“The Millennium Fellows will work in partnership with our campus community, including other students as ‘Friends of Millennium Fellows’, on nine social impact projects, like a music program for disadvantaged groups, social impact videos and capturing stories of peace and healing.”

Griffith’s Millennium Fellows for 2020 are:

  • Anna Twomey
  • Claire Doherty
  • D’Arcy Smith
  • Grace Sholl
  • Hiruni Dompege
  • Jacob Breslin
  • Jasmin Somers
  • Julia Hill
  • Katharina Gutjahr-Holland
  • Kathleen O’Hagan
  • Kathryn Pursche
  • Kimberley Bates (Campus Director)
  • Kimberly Wong
  • Lucy Fergusson
  • Nadya De Vos
  • Rachel Kapnias (Campus Director)
  • Tanner Noakes

About the Campus Directors

Kimberley Bates accepts her award from Julie Bishop, Minister for Foreign Affairs.

Kimberley Bates accepts an award from Julie Bishop, Minister for Foreign Affairs.

Kimberley Bates is currently completing her Honours in Psychological Science with the School of Applied Psychology. She isa Communications Specialist with Humanitarian Affairs Asia and received the Global Youth Icon Award at the UNCC in Bangkok, Thailand. She is also an Ambassador for Peace under UN SDG #16 from her involvement in the Peace Summit of Emerging Leaders. An alumni of Australia’s New Colombo Plan Scholarship and recent recipient of the 2020 Jack Cranstoun scholarship by the Queensland Department of Justice and Attorney-General Dispute Resolution Centre, Kimberley has travelled to China, Hong Kong, Singapore, India, and Thailand to undertake research in topics including mental health, domestic violence, and cyber security.

Rachel Kapnias is a third-year international student from South Africa completing a Bachelor of Psychology (Honours) with the School of Applied Psychology. She is passionate about psychological research and improving mental health through evidence-based practices. Rachel is a Health Dean Research Summer Scholarship 2019 recipient and is involved in research in anxiety treatments. She is part of the Binna Burra Equity Crowdfund project with Millennium Fellow Tanner Noakes that aims to raise funds to rebuild the main lodge that was destroyed during the 2019/20 bushfires. She says she is eager to collaborate with diverse groups of individuals to make meaningful and sustainable change during this challenging time.