Wu recognised as ANU Young Alumnus of the Year

From working alongside high school students, to challenging world economic leaders, BGS Old Boy '01 and public sector lawyer Alan Wu has been a lifelong champion for a more participatory and inclusive society.​

As Chair of the nation's peak body for young people, the Australian Youth Affairs Coalition, Wu led the successful campaign to re-establish a Federal Government Minister for Youth. He also helped secure $2 million in new annual funding to ensure young Australians had a seat at the table, wherever the national agenda was being shaped.

Internationally, as executive director to the United Nations Environment Program, Special Envoy for Young People, Wu helped develop the agency's ground-breaking youth engagement strategy, one of the first in the United Nations system.

Later, while serving on the National Commission for UNESCO, he delivered Australia's first statement on youth participation to the UNESCO General Conference.

Wu serves on the board of Oxfam Australia, helping mobilise the power of people against poverty. After attending the World Economic Forum meeting in Davos, he was also recently selected to help grow the Forum's Global Shapers Community, which supports young leaders across the world.

With such significant achievements, it is easy to see why the ANU College of Law graduate was recognised as the 2016 ANU Young Alumnus of the Year at a gala awards ceremony in March.

Upon accepting the award Wu said education was vital for creating inclusive societies, with much work still to be done.​



Read his terrific ANU Young Alumnus of the Year acceptance speech below


I am the proud son of migrant parents from China and Africa. They know firsthand the transformative power of education, and I owe them so much for raising me with that same appreciation."

Like so many new Australians, my parents were drawn here by Australia's promise – at once simple and spectacular – of opportunity. The idea that here you can go as far as your hard work will take you.

And thanks to the generations who have come before us, we've made magnificent progress towards building a future we can all share. But this important work is unfinished. Because for too many Australians, that promise of opportunity remains beyond their reach.

So we have more to do. We have more to do because no one should have to live in the shadow of discrimination and inequality. Because at this rate, it will take another 75 years for women, finally, to be paid as much as men.

Because Indigenous Australians still have a life expectancy that is a decade shorter than other Australians. Because of the unconscionable economic inequality where the richest 62 people in the world own the same wealth as the poorest half of humanity.

Because too many young gay Australians go to schools where they do not feel safe; because they are six times more likely to attempt suicide; and because the choice to marry those they love is not yet theirs to make.

We have more to do, not because these groups are special – but because they are human. Because ultimately we are all bound together by common needs: to feel safe, to belong and to find somebody to love, to have a say in the course of our lives, and to be hopeful for the future.

We have more to do, not because we can only meet the challenges of our time together – true as that is – but because our very humanity calls on us to recognise that depth of humanity in others.

So that is the work that falls to our generation: to replenish the frontlines of social progress, and to renew the effort to healing these divides.

Today, I am proud and privileged to work with a movement that helps expand opportunity. Oxfam Australia last year invested more than $110m to improve the lives of more than five million people in 30 countries. Every day, we work with communities to find sustainable solutions to poverty. When disaster strikes, we save lives. And we campaign so that the voices of the poor are heard.

Oxfam's work is only possible with the community's support. We want you all to join us as we grow this movement against the injustice of poverty and inequality. Visit www.oxfam.org.au to learn more about our work – and to donate – because this important change can only be achieved together.

So thank you for this encouragement, to do what more we must, so that one day, our works will be as good as our ambitions. So that one day, together, we can say that yes, finally, we have made good on that promise.