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Commonwealth Day Observance Students

Amber Young, Commonwealth Observance Day

​The Executive Committee of the Isle of Man branch of the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association (CPA) has selected two young people from the Isle of Man to attend this year’s CPA Headquarters Secretariat’s Observance of Commonwealth Day in London on Monday March 11.

Amber Young, 18, is studying International Relations and Law at the University of Chester and Thomas O’Connor, 21, a Master’s degree in Criminal Justice Policy at the London School of Economics and Political Science. They will be joining around 1000 other young people attending the Commonwealth Day celebrations, the theme for which is ‘A Connected Commonwealth’.

Aimed principally at young citizens of the Commonwealth, the proceedings will include discussions on the Commonwealth and the CPA, in particular the latter’s work in strengthening parliamentary democracy, with contributions from visiting and UK Commonwealth parliamentarians.

The day will be marked by a service of celebration of the Commonwealth in Westminster Abbey in the presence of Her Majesty The Queen, as Head of the Commonwealth, and all London Commonwealth High Commissioners. The celebrations will conclude with a reception, also in the presence of Her Majesty, at Marlborough House, headquarters of the Commonwealth Secretariat, hosted by the Commonwealth Secretary-General the Rt Hon. the Baroness Scotland QC.

As part of the selection process applicants were asked to set out in 200 words what they believed they would gain from the experience and how the Isle of Man might benefit from their attendance.

In her application Amber Young, (pictured left) who is from Douglas, wrote that her interest in the Commonwealth stemmed from her desire to learn more about the ‘inner workings’ of international political systems and her participation in activities which had included a United Nations mock Security Council session.

On being selected she said: ‘I would like to thank the committee for providing me the opportunity to attend this important event. I am very excited and committed to making this a highly beneficial event for everyone involved. I am particularly keen to see how other Commonwealth nations function and what their viewpoint is on current Commonwealth connections and how the Isle of Man can play a role in improving and developing all previous relationships.’

Thomas O’Connor, (pictured left) who is also from Douglas, wrote in his application of his wish to expand his knowledge of ‘democracies beyond Europe’ and his understanding of how international cooperation can serve as a means to ‘help people in this increasingly globalised and seemingly tumultuous world’.

On being selected he said: ‘I’m incredibly grateful to have been given this opportunity by the CPA. It’s a great privilege to represent the Island at an event like this. I think that young people, especially now, need to do as much they can to engage in politics and an event such as this is an excellent example of how we can do just that.’

CPA Isle of Man branch chairman the Hon Juan Watterson SHK said: ‘This year marks the 70th anniversary of the formation of the Commonwealth as it is configured today, an organisation or “family” of 53 member countries working together towards a more inclusive, sustainable and resilient future. The theme of “A Connected Commonwealth” will not only serve to strengthen existing and forge new links but also help to encourage closer collaboration to advance social, political and economic development across the Commonwealth.

‘I am sure Amber and Thomas will find the Observance of Commonwealth Day celebrations a memorable and inspirational experience.’

There will be an occasion after the event when Amber and Thomas will be invited to Tynwald to share their experiences with Members.


For further information contact:

Jonathan King

Deputy Clerk of Tynwald

Legislative Buildings



Tel: 01624 686303


February 8, 2019   


Published - 08/02/2019