Southland woman Anna Goble going to OECD Forum in Paris
A young Southlander is going to one of the world's biggest conferences.
Invercargill woman Anna Goble will travel to the OECD Forum this week.
The forum, taking place in Paris from May 31 to June 1, will bring current and former heads of government, CEOs of some of the world's largest companies, leaders of NGOs and trade unions, prominent academics and journalists, and hundreds of others together to discuss the issues facing communities around the world.
Goble is the only Southlander attending, and will take part in a conference on foreign trade and sustainability.
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"Being a Southlander born and bred I'm passionate about our region and ensuring that it has a sustainable future that encourages and promotes growth, economically and in demographic terms," she said.
"Ageing population is a big one. Given Invercargill's proportion of workers between 54 and 65, it leaves a large gap in the labour market that needs to be filled over the next ten years."
Increased migration and encouraging immigrants to come to Southland could be one way to reverse population decline, she said.
"Obviously in more recent times there have been issues in terms of migration, specifically such as jobs being taken off the skill shortage list that would benefit Southland and the wider farming community," she said.
"These are issues that will need to be addressed should we wish to push for greater immigration to sustain our demand for workers."
Among the dignitaries Goble said she was most looking forward to meeting was Michelle Bachelet, the first woman to be elected president of Chile.
"The topics in the conference are quite diverse this year, and it's a great opportunity to hear from internationally renowned leaders in their field."
Goble, who works as a policy analyst for the Invercargill City Council, said she applied to go to the conference through the Aotearoa Youth Leadership Institute (AYLI).
Goble said the application process included submitting a CV, references and answering questions regarding the conference, what participants hoped to learn, how they would benefit from it, and how they could contribute.
"My intention is to produce a report that specifically focuses on Southland's labour market and its future, with ageing population, migration and enterprise obviously being key factors to consider."
Other OECD Forum participants include Mexico City mayor Miguel Mancera, New Zealand Trade Minister Todd McClay, former Danish Prime Minister Helle Thorning-Schmidt, Vatican cardinal and Pontificate Council for Justice and Peace president Peter Turkson, and Deutsche Welle TV host Ali Aslan.