Putting poverty on map

Michael Sheldrick on the streets of New York promoting the Global Citizen Festival. Inset: U2 lead singer Bono.
Michael Sheldrick on the streets of New York promoting the Global Citizen Festival. Inset: U2 lead singer Bono.

The Kinross resident, who is the global policy and advocacy manager at Global Poverty Project (GPP), was still in the midst of helping to direct the September 28 advocacy concert, which united musicians and influential leaders in their bid to end extreme poverty, when he received the news he was a state finalist in the 2014 Australian of the Year Awards.

‘I was humbled and surprised to be named among so many great people who all do amazing things,’ Mr Sheldrick said.

‘But it was a bittersweet moment, because at the same time the newly elected Australian Federal Government had announced plans to cut $4.5 billion from the aid program.’

Mr Sheldrick worked in New York for six months to oversee the policy direction of the festival and ensure its message ” that systemic change is needed to end extreme poverty by 2030 ” was heard by the 60,000 people at the concert.

He spent almost every day at the UN in an attempt to get UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon to attend, which he did.

Four months before the festival Mr Sheldrick was named as Young West Australian of the Year for his work with the GPP’s End of Polio Campaign.

In 2011 he helped co-produce in partnership with Rotary International The End of Polio Concert at Perth’s Belvoir Amphitheatre.Leading up to the concert, Mr Sheldrick secured a meeting with then-Prime Minister Julia Gillard to discuss the campaign. As a result, polio eradication was included on the agenda of the 2011 Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting.

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