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A Commonwealth of the People? Part 1

What Does It Mean to Be a ‘Citizen’ of the Commonwealth?

Jump to Guests
Victoria Rubadiri
The Hon Michael Kirby AC CMG
Nondumiso 'Noni' Hlophe
Samuel Kavuma
Darrion Narine
Date & Time
2:00pm, 16 November 2021 - 3:00pm, 16 November 2021
About the event

The language of the Commonwealth Charter incorporates the concept of ‘citizenship’: the idea that there are certain characteristics and qualities that attach to individuals from countries that are members of the Commonwealth.

But what does the idea of Commonwealth citizenship mean to the political imagination? What does it actually mean in practice? What should it mean, most especially in terms of tangible connections and benefits that can be felt and enjoyed by the people of the Commonwealth?

How can a reimagination of citizenship that resonates across generations and cultures work to strengthen the Commonwealth as a global force for positive change?

This event will explore what it means to be part of the Commonwealth.

This is the first of three hard-hitting discussions about what it really means to be a Commonwealth of the People?

Victoria Rubadiri Moderator
The Hon Michael Kirby AC CMG Speaker
Nondumiso 'Noni' Hlophe Speaker
Samuel Kavuma Speaker
Darrion Narine Speaker
Victoria Rubadiri

Victoria Rubadiri is a renowned broadcast journalist, radio and television presenter, and Internet personality from Kenya. She is known most for her ability to connect with her audience and tell compelling stories. She is a senior news anchor and journalist for Citizen TV, East Africa’s most-watched news network. Before moving to her current position, she was a news reporter and anchor for NTV.

Victoria won the 2020 most anticipated BBC World News Komla Dumor Award and is currently training with the BBC academy in London.

Victoria holds a Bachelor’s degree in Broadcast Journalism from Temple University in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. She held a number of roles during her university years, which included writing evening news programs and serving as a field news reporter. She made her debut as a pioneer News Anchor at Capital FM.

She was also the host and co-producer of Kenya’s top-rated talk show ‘Victoria’s Lounge’, a show that discussed social issues ranging from mental health, gender equality and governance.

Beyond her work in the media, Victoria has also moderated high-level discussions across Africa of both regional and continental importance.

The Hon Michael Kirby AC CMG

The Hon. Michael Kirby AC CMG is an Australian jurist and academic who served as the former Justice of the High Court of Australia from 1996 to 2009. 

Prior to his appointment to the High Court, Justice Kirby held many legal roles, notably: Deputy President of the Australian Conciliation and Arbitration Commission (1975-83); Chairman of the Australian Law Reform Commission (1975-84); Judge of the Federal Court of Australia (1983-4); President of the New South Wales Court of Appeal (1984-96); and President of the Court of Appeal of Solomon Islands (1995-96). 

In 1982 he was appointed a Companion of the Order of St Michael and St George (CMG) for his services to Law. In 1991, he was awarded the Human Rights Medal, along with receiving Australia’s highest civil honour when he was made a Companion of the Order of Australia (AC). He was named Laurette of the UNESCO Prize for Human Rights Education in 1998, and co-winner of the Gruber Justice Prize in 2010. In 2011 he received the inaugural Australian Privacy Medal.

Justice Kirby has undertaken many international activities for the United Nations, the Commonwealth Secretariat, the OECD and the Global Fund Against AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria. He was also a member of the Eminent Persons Group that was tasked with advising on potential reform within the Commonwealth. 

Justice Kirby continues to be active in international human rights; in May 2013 he was appointed by the United Nations Human Rights Council to lead an inquiry into human rights abuses in North Korea.

Nondumiso 'Noni' Hlophe

Nondumiso ‘Noni’ Hlophe. Noni received the Queen’s Young Leader award, for her contribution in leadership and social impact in 2015. She is from eSwatini and was selected by the World Economic Forum as Founding Curator and Director of Global Shapers Community: Mbabane – a network of young people driving dialogue, action and change. Noni is an advisor to the Queen’s Commonwealth Trust.

Samuel Kavuma

Samuel Kavuma is a Liaison Officer at the Parliament of Uganda and the Executive Director of Global Network of Peace Builders (GNOP), a non-profit working with young professionals with an interest in conflict and peacebuilding from all the regions of the Commonwealth. He is also the first Vice President of the International Conference on the Great Lakes Region (ICGLR) Youth Forum and CEO of Corporate Plus Solution International Ltd, which is a corporate consultancy company focused on supporting youth development work.

Samuel has been a student leader in Uganda since 1997 at the institution, district and national level. In 2004, he was elected to the National Youth Council of Uganda and in 2007 he was elected to be the Regional Youth Caucus representative and Chairperson of the Commonwealth Youth Caucus. He was also the youth representative to the Eminent Persons Group in 2011. 

Samuel has also worked as a youth worker with Students Partnership Worldwide, Youth and Women Initiative of Uganda, and the Africa Youth Trust. He has also served as the Director of Uganda Youth Action for Development. Samuel has spearheaded a number of youth advocacy initiatives and campaigns in Uganda and has helped to pioneer the establishment of the one-stop youth centre by UN-Habitat. 

He holds a Bachelors in Human Resource Management and Planning from Makerere University and a Masters in Business Administration and Management from the Uganda Christian University. In addition to this, he has participated in training schemes by the Ugandan National Youth Council on leadership skills, reproductive health and human rights. He has also studied leadership, project management, MDGS and Africa Development programmes at Coady International Institute.

Darrion Narine

Darrion M. Narine was born in Trinidad and Tobago but considers himself to be a global citizen and a social justice advocate. He is currently the Vice-Chairperson for Inclusion and Engagement on the Commonwealth Youth Council, which serves 1.2 billion youth across the globe. He holds a BSc in Psychology(Special) with a minor in Theatre Arts from the University of the West Indies (U.W.I). He is a National Youth Award recipient for Leadership from the Government of Trinidad and Tobago.

Darrion has served as a board member on the Global Coalition for Youth Employment (under the Ministry of Youth Affairs and National Service) as well as on the Chancellor’s Commission on Governance for the University of the West Indies.

Darrion is also a cultural advocate, performer and entrepreneur. He is Managing Director of Cindon Productions, which deals with performance, public speaking and drama training and networking and leadership development. He also teaches drama at various schools across the country. Furthermore, he is an actor with DCShell Theatre, a singer, poet and writer based in the Caribbean and considers himself to be a regionalist strongly supporting the core principles of CARICOM.

He is also Programme Coordinator for the Catholic Commission for Social Justice (CCSJ)/ Archdiocese’s Ministry for Migrants & Refugees (AMMR) and is responsible for the strategic planning and development of social policy and humanitarian response coordination.

Virtual Event
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