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Clubs Making An Impact

If for a moment you thought that clubs at Monash were just about free beer, free sausages and expensive balls, think again. If you ever wondered if there was anything more far-reaching to clubs than the guise of free giveaways at O-week festival then read on.

Monash International Affairs Society is just one outstanding club that offers members opportunities to make waves on an international stage. MIAS unites over 200 students from diverse study backgrounds, who share an interest in world issues. The apolitical club, only recently established at Monash Clayton, assists students in developing valuable skills relevant to a variety of jobs relating to international affairs. MIAS actively partners with the United Nations to help organise and provide members with the opportunity to attend as a delegation. This year alone, MIAS sent teams to the World Model United Nations in Melbourne, and a team to the Asia-Pacific Model United Nations in New Zealand, with delegates receiving special mentions for their exemplary leadership, negotiation and problem solving skills.

AIESEC is another organisation which provides an avenue for stu­dents to help other students find opportunities for personal development through initiatives that contribute to development and learning on a global stage. Founded in the first half of the 20th century, AIESEC has a proud history of student-led entrepreneurship and leadership. AIESEC Monash is an active branch of the international organisation, which is also recognised by Monash Clubs and Societies. This semester AIESEC is offering members the opportunity to acquire a second language, taught by students from France and South America, as well as the chance to re­ceive assistance organising an overseas internship or exchange endorsed by Monash Abroad.

Monash Clubs and Societies also recognise student-led branches of many not-for-profit organisations, including VGen, the Oaktree Foun­dation, Amnesty, Students Teaching English to our World (STEW) and Oxfam. The recently affiliated Socio-Economic Engagement and Devel­opment club also provides a unique avenue for students with entrepre­neurial abilities and a passion for development to work constructively with like-minded individuals. All of these clubs link students to their passion in assisting the cause of human development, whilst gaining valuable skills in leadership, organisation and networking.

All the clubs mentioned so far have recently formalised their partnership under the independent banner of the Impact Network. The Impact Network unites student-led organisations, whose mission is to address global inequalities and injustices through regular meetings and joint-events. The network is not limited to organisations affiliated as clubs at Monash, with a notable inclusion being the Australian Youth Climate Coalition (AYCC), the nursing and health-sciences ‘Ignite’ initiative and Impetus Consulting Group. It is evident that this fledgling initiative has a clear vision and the right personnel, as they have already organised an enviable political Question & Answer event to be held on Thursday the 29th of August at 7:30pm in S3. The candidates from the Greens, ALP and Liberal parties standing for the seat of Chisolm will be in attendance at the event, responding to questions composed by stu­dents, in true qanda-style. A second large collaboration, the Fair-Trade ball, is expected to be held on September, promising a night of inspira­tion and a chance for attendees to showcase the best of their op-shop attire.

If you are seeking an avenue for making a meaningful impact in world affairs, search for the above-listed clubs on the Monash Clubs and Societies website, or on Facebook.

Laura Aston

The author Laura Aston

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