News and publications News & Blog Regional Co-ordinators for 2020-2022 appointed Since the Society’s creation in 1868, volunteerism and local engagement have been central to our ability to deliver our mission in a pan-Commonwealth environment. In 2020, this remains the case. As an integral part of the Society’s International Network Support Structure, we recognize the important role that Regional Co-ordinators (RCs) play in disseminating information across the Society’s network, liaising with branches in their geographical area and engaging with the Society’s extensive network of young leaders. We are therefore delighted to appoint the following Regional Co-ordinators for Africa, Asia, Australia, Canada, the Caribbean, Europe and the Pacific and look forward to working with them to improve the lives and prospects of all Commonwealth citizens. AFRICA: Linus O. Omondi[email protected] Linus is an Associate Fellow of the Society from Kenya. He is a writer, poet and singer and is currently the International Programme Coordinator and Founder of the Kenya Voluntary Service Organisation (KVSO). He has previously served as the UNESCO Youth Kenya Chairperson, UNESCO Regional Youth Representative and Secretariat to the Youth Council for Culture and Heritage in Kenya. ASIA: Dhanesh Basil[email protected] Dhanesh is currently the Director of Youth Affairs for the Royal Commonwealth Society, Malaysia Branch. For the last three years, Dhanesh has also served as the Society’s Regional Youth Co-ordinator for Asia. Prior to this, Dhanesh served as Co-ordinator for the Commonwealth Youth Council (CYC) Secretariat, managing the operation and administration of the CYC in Malaysia. AUSTRALIA: Nick de Bres[email protected] Nick is an Associate Fellow of the Society and strongly believes that if you see something worth doing, you should do it. This ethos has seen him be particularly active in recent years in disability care, youth mental health, fundraising and anti-cyberbullying. Selected by the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade as a New Colombo Plan Scholar and Fellow, he has studied, volunteered and worked in a number of Commonwealth countries and has most recently been appointed a New Colombo Plan Ambassador. CANADA: David Haisell[email protected] David has served on the board of the Royal Commonwealth Society, Toronto Branch, for the past six years, as well as Canada’s national co-ordinating council. During this time, he has overseen the development of social media and website assets for both organisations and increased their profile and following. David has also worked to promote The Queen’s Commonwealth Essay Competition (QCEC) within Canada, building and managing relationships with QCEC entrants and Canada’s impressive National Student Commonwealth Forum alumni. CARIBBEAN: Onika Stellingburg[email protected] Onika is an Associate Fellow of the Society from Guyana. She has 12 years’ experience working with young people from diverse backgrounds and communities and has worked with various types of groups, from grass-roots projects to diplomatic engagements. During this period, Onika has served as Unit Leader in the President’s Youth Award (Duke of Edinburgh International Award); Project Manager Fellow of the One World Youth Project; and a Board Member for the Caribbean Regional Youth Council. EUROPE: Daniella Tilbury[email protected] Daniella is a Gibraltarian educator and sustainable development leader who was the first woman in her country to hold the title of university professor. She was the inaugural Vice-Chancellor and CEO of the University of Gibraltar and, having long been involved in sustainability issues, was appointed Gibraltar’s first Commissioner for Sustainable Development in May 2018. Her international scientific and social contributions to sustainable development have also seen her recognised as an honorary Don of St Catharine’s College, University of Cambridge. Daniella serves as Secretary to the Royal Commonwealth Society, Gibraltar Branch. PACIFIC: Elisha Bano[email protected] Elisha is an Associate Fellow of the Royal Commonwealth Society from Nadi, Fiji, and has been living in Suva for the past 10 years. She was presented with a Queen’s Young Leaders Award in 2015 for using the arts to make young people more aware of issues that affect their communities, through an organisation she created called ACT IT. Elisha is currently the Short Courses Co-ordinating Officer for the University of the South Pacific and is actively involved with various youth groups and non-governmental organisations on a volunteer basis, and focuses on working on communities, human rights, leadership, equality and climate change. As the Society makes these new appointments, we would like to express our sincere gratitude to Amber Kale, Angela Jeune, Cheryll Belle, Darryl Stevens, Dhanesh Basil, Gideon Commey-Mensah, Hari Om Dahiya, Hillary Briffa, Jack Milne, Jenny Stodola, John Apea, Judith Elson, Libby Ellis, Peter Mann, Ryan Braithwaite and Shivani Wazir Pasrich for their dedication and commitment to these roles over the last few years. We look forward to their continued engagement in the International Network Support Structure.