Waterford UWA student not shy of activism after NYC stint


Maya Shah met former Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard at the Global Citizen Festival.
Maya Shah met former Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard at the Global Citizen Festival.

WATERFORD resident Maya Shah is not shying away from becoming a social activist.

The UWA student (21) was allowed the chance to do an internship with Global Citizen in New York and has come back to Perth with even more determination to make a difference.

The internship was made possible by the McCusker Centre for Citizenship at UWA, the organisation that organises similar opportunities for students around the world.

Ms Shah said the photo of the New York skyline and the opportunity to volunteer for the social action platform attracted her to the internship.

“I’d never actually heard about the centre but I stumbled on it when I was at the library; within a few weeks I had applied and was selected,” she said.

“I’m studying a Bachelor of Commerce, majoring in finance and economics and usually these things are for art or international relations students but people forget about business students.

“I’ve always been an activist, I’ve done work for Oxfam and for animal welfare organisations but I never thought I’d be able to combine my interest with my career.”

Ms Shah said the experience of interning at Global Citizen as well as living and exploring around New York was amazing.

“I arrived on July 10 at about 8.30pm and got into my place in Brooklyn and I went into the office the next day at 10am but I was too jetlagged so they told me to come back the next day,” she said.

“Global Citizen is a not-for-profit agency that aims to end extreme poverty but they also campaign about children’s health, education for women and more.

“They don’t do the groundwork but they negotiate with governments and organisations and being based in New York is great because they can engage with all of those.

“The major project that I worked on was a major festival but I also did research, policy work, event planning and attending meetings.”

Ms Shah said she had the opportunity to go to the United Nations General Assembly to see people such as Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau speak.

After her internship finished in October, she backpacked around America before returning in time to finish her last semester of her undergrad degree.