Laura Clements is a CAAR delegate on the 2017 AMEJE study tour to Qatar and Jordan.
Laura was raised on a 2000 acre farm near Crookwell, NSW, where her family grew sheep and wool for five generations. Though not a farmer herself, this upbringing instilled in her the importance of agriculture and primary industry, and an appreciation of the challenges faced by people working in those sectors. Laura is Secretary of the Crookwell Agricultural Pastoral and Horticultural Society which promotes agriculture in the area. She still lives in Crookwell and commutes 90 minutes each way to Canberra for university classes.
Laura’s first time on a plane was on the way to a working gap year at a boarding school in Hampshire, England. Travelling through Europe inspired her to travel more and roused in her a general curiosity about the world, especially global affairs and politics.
Returning to Australia at the start of 2013, Laura began an arts degree at the ANU but she switched to the University of Canberra in 2014 to study law and journalism. Now in her fourth year of study, Laura has realised that journalism has been her calling all along and she hopes one day to work as a foreign correspondent.
I’m looking forward to the opportunity on this study tour to employ the skills I’ve learnt at the University of Canberra in a professional setting, and to gain real time feedback from those working in the industry.
Learning about a new culture is always exciting and I intend to head to the Middle East with no expectations and a desire to gain a sense of everyday life in Qatar and Jordan. I’m particularly looking forward to comparing notes with Middle Eastern media students to get a sense of what their lives are like as young people, and to discuss our journalistic outlooks.
I truly believe in the role of journalism as a means for people to access their democracy. Though the future of traditional journalistic forms is uncertain, the role of journalists is more important than ever. We must set the right agendas and ensure that our audiences are enlightened about issues that affect the lives of everyday people both home and abroad. We’re not just citizens of our own countries, but global citizens, and igniting conversations can affect change for all people. I hope that this study tour will be my first step towards a career that lets me realise these ideals.
Our 2017 University of Canberra study tour is generously supported by the Australian Government through the Council for Australian-Arab Relations (CAAR) of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade; Qatar Airways; the Changing Lives Program; the Embassy of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan in Canberra; and the Embassy of the State of Qatar in Canberra. AMEJE is extremely grateful for these partnerships which enable us to enhance cross-cultural understanding by fostering better informed journalism.