Anna Rose

Anna Rose

Just how much could an Arts/Law graduate accomplish three years out from leaving the University of Sydney? Alumna Anna Rose seems to have taken this question as a personal challenge.
Since her days at the University of Sydney, she has represented Australia in delegations to key international conferences and negotiations, including Montreal’s Kyoto Protocol negotiations in 2005, and most recently, leading a delegation of 30 young Australians to the UN Copenhagen negotiations.
Rose has given speeches, written a book chapter and numerous opinion columns; and co-founded and chaired the board of the Australian Youth Climate Coalition (AYCC) - one of Australia’s largest and most politically influential youth organisations.
2008 saw Rose in the USA working on the Obama campaign in the New Hampshire primary elections at the tail end of her US exchange. In 2009, Kevin Rudd named her the Environment Minister’s Young Environmentalist of the Year, and last year the Sydney Morning Herald deemed her among Sydney’s '100 Most Influential People'.
Some might think they could rest on such a bed of laurels, but Anna Rose won’t take so much as a catnap.
As a senior campaigning specialist at communications consultancy Make Believe, she is finding communications solutions for clients such as the Australian Conservation Foundation and the Global Poverty Project. The 2010 Australian Greens Federal election campaign, which saw the first ever Greens member elected to the Federal Legislative Assembly, was a Make Believe operation.
What’s more, Rose has recently been awarded a Churchill Fellowship, which will, over the next two months and beyond, allow her to begin research in the USA, China and the United Kingdom on peer-to-peer youth climate change education projects.
Rose the writer, the activist, the politician, the environmentalist, the emissary, the scholar, the communications consultant, and board director: how did this all begin? For Rose, her passion for environmental issues and politics started with her teachers at the University of Sydney.
"I had fantastic lecturers and tutors for all of my Arts subjects, especially Asian Studies. I remember being so overwhelmed by my first Asian studies tutorial that I carried an enormous stack of books higher than my head from Fisher Library back to college to read. I had to keep peering sideways to make sure I wasn’t going to run into anyone!"
Rose readily admits that Sydney gave her the courage to think internationally in a way few other institutions could. She rates the opportunities for international travel as among her best university experiences. During her studies, she was part of the Department of Geography’s South East Asian field school along the Mekong Delta, and in her final year she went on exchange to Cornell University in upstate New York.
"One of the best things about the University of Sydney,” she says, “is that it really does encourage you to get a global education".
"The people I met and the groups I was involved in at Sydney - especially through the Arts and Social Sciences faculty - gave me the confidence and the networks to be able to forge my own path".
This young woman with an international presence, a trophy cabinet brimming with accolades, a passion for environmental activism, and a resume that now requires a wheelbarrow for transportation, looks back fondly at her time at the University of Sydney as enabling all of these ambitions.
"Studying Arts at Sydney opens your eyes to the fact that there’s a whole world out there with infinite possibilities, and gives you the skills you need to go and do just about anything!"