It was only after doing some research into Samoa and the Office of the Ombudsman that I realised what a great opportunity it would be to work with a new NHRI in the Pacific. I was also fascinated with the Samoan way of life (fa’asamoa) and how it would interact with the human rights system.

The United Nations General Assembly was packed. The occasion was the opening of the Conference of State Parties on the Convention of the Rights of Persons with Disability (CRPD), which fellow DFAT officer Tim Balin and I attended in June as part of an International Skills Development Program.

Young people are often categorised as politically disengaged and apathetic. A program backed by Australia and the UN is seeking to shake this image, engaging youth and giving them a voice at the highest level of global politics.

Today is International Women’s Day. This year’s theme, Be Bold for Change, calls on all of us to step up to help create a world that is more inclusive and equal. The aim is for a world that is more peaceful and sustainable, where the contribution of women is recognised, valued and respected. Australia is committed to this endeavour.

Educating girls is one of the world’s best investments. Educated women have higher incomes and contribute to the growth, development, stability and security of their countries – and our region.

It is clear that the death penalty is cruel and inhumane. Australia believes the death penalty has no place in the modern world.