In 2026 Australia is proposing to host the world's largest climate change conference, in partnership with Pacific nations. At first sight, this proposal looks likely to embrace and reinforce the Albanese Government's climate change credentials in an Australia where climate action is rhetorically high on the agenda. But is Australia the right host for this conference?

This intern debate will focus on whether Australia should be chosen to preside over COP31. In terms of climate policy credentials, Australia could be seen as a more appropriate host than the United Arab Emirates, which will host COP28 in Dubai this year. Will climate credentials or diplomatic capacity matter more in determining who is a suitable host for COP31?

Our interns will delve into these complexities in their debate on Tuesday 19 September. The affirmative case will be put by Imogen Biggins, Renuga Inpakumar and Matthew Vasic, the negative by Dominik Hruby, Rachel A and Daniel Yang.

Rachel A is a third year Juris Doctor student at the University of New South Wales, having previously graduated with a degree in Accounting and Business Law at Murdoch University.

Imogen Biggins is a recent graduate of the University of Sydney, where she completed a Bachelor of Arts/Advanced Studies (International and Global Studies) with First Class Honours.

Dominik Hruby is a fourth-year student at the University of Sydney, studying a Bachelor of Arts/Advanced Studies (International and Global Studies, Marketing).

Renuga Inpakumar is in her third year at Western Sydney University, studying Bachelor of Arts/Laws majoring in International Relations and Asian Studies and minoring in History and Political Thought.

Matthew Vasic is a fifth-year undergraduate student studying International Studies and Law at Western Sydney University.

Daniel Yang is a second-year student at the University of New South Wales studying a Bachelor of Social Science with a concentration in Politics and International Relations.

(For more information, go to the Internships page​)

Dr Robert Howard will moderate the debate. Bob Howard researches aspects of the history of international relations in the twentieth century, with special reference to developments in international security. He is currently focusing on international security issues in the post-Cold War era and the role, at this time, of the United Nations. Dr Howard is also interested in developments in the international economy since 1945 and the impact of these on domestic economies and polities.


We will have space for a limited number of participants in-person at the Glover Cottages, tickets to be pre-paid. Once the limit for in-person attendees is reached, tickets will no longer be sold on the website or at the door.

Refreshments will be served.

This event will also be streamed online via Zoom. Register by clicking the "get tickets" button below. Once you have registered, you will receive a follow-up confirmation email on the day of the event (Tuesday, September 19) containing details of the Zoom link and how to join the event.

The Zoom event will start at 6.30pm AEST (Sydney, Canberra, Melbourne time).

For further information please email:

Photo from left to right: Imogen, Dominik, Matthew, Daniel, Rachel and Renuga.


Glover Cottages
Kent Street 124-134
Millers Point, New South Wales, Australia

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