In 2004, while completing my Masters of International Affairs at the University of New South Wales, I formed a university group called MAIR (MAsters of International Relations). This group was formed to promote the social interaction of postgraduate students and increase the networking potential for the course I was taking. While there was some success getting teachers and students to come to events, the time constraints of those people I wished to involve became an obvious hurdle.
To substitute my interest in international relations based events, I started to attend and volunteer at the Australian Institute of International Affairs (AIIA) NSW branch, however this event model did not match my desires. The membership base, while extremely experienced and of great value, were demographically difficult to mix with. Having searched around Sydney, unable to find a group that truly fit my needs, I created one.
In March of 2004, I got together a group of like minded individuals, and we set about creating ACCESS. ACCESS was set up underneath the AIIA to provide a catalyst for young interested people who wanted to get involved and have access to influential members of the international relations community, and to bolster a historically important organisation. While our first events provided hard lessons in event management, and the costs that could be incurred, through hard effort and determination we not only survived but proved that our model was viable.
During the period that I was chairman of ACCESS, the ACCESS model spread to Victoria and the ACT, and is currently on the verge of moving into the other states around Australia. I am very proud of the achievements of ACCESS, and especially thank the efforts of my team for making it a success. From the early days of 10-15 people attending events, to a contact list which reaches thousands, ACCESS is something that is here to stay.
To get a general idea of what ACCESS events we had while I was involved, please have a look through my Achievements.
Managed relationships and direction within the ACCESS organising committee.
Organised and chaired events, making sure members and guests enjoyed high quality experiences at all ACCESS events.
Expanded ACCESS interstate (new branch in Melbourne and Canberra).
Created opportunities for the committee to use and develop their personal experiences.
Developed new web features to ensure the increased use of the ACCESS web site as a useful knowledge based tool.