21 July 2024

Hamilton’s Timi Barabas, 2 others on way to Apec Multistakeholder Forum

Three young Kiwis are all set to leave for San Francisco (USA) to represent New Zealand in the 2023 APEC Multistakeholder Forum scheduled to be held this week from November 10. 

Timi Barabas, Alexander Kuch and Courtney Davies – all under 30s, are among over 150 leaders invited from various groups from across APEC to participate in the three-and-a-half-days meet. The participants will work to interrogate the significant and complex impact of a global shift to Net Zero on local communities.

The three-and-a-half-day Forum has been organized on the sidelines of APEC Economic Leaders Week in partnership with the APEC Secretariat, World Affairs, and the Commonwealth Club of California.

This Multistakeholder Forum will be the official opening event for the APEC 2023 Leaders Week to be attended by top ministers and business leaders from 21 Asia-Pacific countries. New Zealand’s incoming PM, Chris Luxon’s participation is yet to be confirmed.  

Hamilton’s Timi Barabas, 22 – a tech startup co-founder and CEO, is a fine example of how determination and resilience can help overcome adversity.

Timi Barabas
Timi Barabas (Photo/supplied)

“As a young person who was told she would fail in school, today I feel grateful to have the opportunity… My journey makes me want to inspire others to never to stop chasing their wildest dreams. I am grateful to everyone who helped me get here,” she says.

Former Rototuna High, Hamilton student Timi was born in Budapest, Hungary. She was just 16 when her family moved to New Zealand in 2017.

As she knew no English, she faced challenges of language barriers and learning disabilities while fitting in a new culture. Defeating all odds, she had a successful education-both at school and university.

Having a commitment to making a positive impact on the world, Timi involved herself in humanitarian work.

In 2020, she started an organisation called Rise For Lives (R4L) – a “movement of young people from New Zealand and around the world seeking to promote worldwide peace”.

Subsequently, she also became involved with a task force under Fridays For Future, called Activists in Risk Zones and successfully offered support for people facing crisis in countries like Yemen Ukraine, Afghanistan, and Sudan.

In June this year, she was selected to serve as an Event Manager and the International Youth and Intergenerational Program Director for the APEC2023 Multi-Stakeholder Forum.

Today, Timi works as a business freelancer and serves as the co-founder and CEO of InGoIn, focused on mental health and social media productivity.

Alexander Kuch
Alexander Kuch (photo/supplied)

Another representative and felicitator at this APEC Multistakeholder Forum is Alexander Kuch – a sustainability specialist and consultant from Auckland whose success story is equally inspiring.

Born in Romania and left to be raised in an orphanage, he was adopted by a German family and they moved to New Zealand in 2006.

Alexander was not expected to lead a normal life or even schooling due to his traumatic early childhood due to ‘mistreatment and neglect’ in orphanage. Deprived of emotional care before the age of two, his developmental milestones were delayed, but his tenacity prevailed.

With support from his family, Alexander went on to achieve his university qualifications and setting up a successful sustainability consulting services, M.Aurelius Consulting Ltd.

He was a recipient of International Parliamentary Fellowship with the German Government and secured a position there as part of a select group of global young professionals.

He was also a semi-finalist for Young New Zealander of the year in 2018 and received the University of Auckland Blues supreme leadership award, 2018.

“This (participating in Forum) is not only a big honour to me but a testament to the constant support I have received from family and supportive close friends and mentors. Especially in light of the bleak predictions the German psychologist made about me not being able to live a normal life. Reflecting on where I have come from motivates me to encourage and empower others to reach their full potential,” said Alexander Kuch.

The third delegate is Agricultural and environmental leader, Courtney Davies who lives on a lifestyle block in Dairy Flat, Auckland. She has a long list of creditable achievements to her credit, including two Masters degrees.

Courtney Davies
Courtney Davies (Photo/FB)

Courtney has already represented New Zealand at over 10 international events. In May this year, she was selected as the sole New Zealand Ambassador and one of 15 global Ambassadors (representing 14 countries and 6 continents) for NGIN – Next Generational Agricultural Impact Network.

She is recipient of the 2022 Inspiring Stories Global Impact Award; recognised as a semifinalist in the 2022 New Zealander of the Year Environmental Hero category; recognised on the YWCA Y25 list, won the North Harbour Club Supreme AIMES Award 2019, and was the North Shore Graduate Women Scholar of the Year, etc.

Courtney is also a cattle breeder and Founder of purebred Ayrshire stud ‘Inca Ayrshires’, and Northern Agricultural Youth – an opportunity for youngsters to learn more about agriculture.

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