News and Events

Calling all Duke of Edinburgh Conference and Dialogue Alumni

Sunday 5th November 2017
Alumni Connection Event - Hong Kong

You are invited to an Alumni Gathering on Sunday 5th November in Hong Kong.
This alumni event is sponsored by The Association of Emerging Leaders’ Dialogues (AELD*) and takes place immediately preceding the 2017 annual general meeting of the Association being held in Hong Kong.

Edinburgh ConferenceBased on the successful London POP UP gatherings held over the last two years in London, this alumni event will follow a one day format followed by a social gathering.

The provisional programme is:

AM: ‘meet and greet’ followed by local/ regional inputs from leading bankers, diplomats, analysts and corporates.
‘Leadership reflections’

Local lunch

PM: CSC Alumni input and focus groups “advising and shaping the agenda/ structure/ outputs of CSC programmes globally”
‘Market Place’ issues, areas of interest and peer support.
‘An Alumni journey’ - reflections on changing the world post a Conference.

Social beverages.

Detail to follow…HOLD THE DATE

To register your attendance for this event please contact:

Brian Pickett
AELD Secretary
+61 (0) 418 164 043

* The Association of Emerging Leaders’ Dialogues (AELD) is the coordinating organisation for HRH The Duke of Edinburgh’s Commonwealth Study Conferences and Emerging Leaders’ Dialogues including: EPLD, ELD Asia, CCELD, CSCLeaders, ELSCD and related leadership programmes and all Alumni.


Thank you Prince Philip
“A Conference Moment”

A lovely day in Montreal in May 1962. There were 300 of us from all over the Commonwealth, 32 from Australia including 2 of only 10 women. We had assembled after an inspiring Conference Opening Address. It was the first formal function and our first meeting with our companions for the next three weeks. We were all tingling with excitement, anticipation and wonder.

Edinburgh ConferenceWhen it came to the time to be presented to the Conference President, we all lined up in national groups. I was somewhere in the middle of our group. There was time to admire the warmth, quick thinking and astute questions of the President. Until it was my turn. A quick glance and he said, "Are you the only Australian not wearing a kangaroo pin?" Speechless, I was rescued by a colleague. "But Sir, look, she's wearing a koala." "And so she is," said Prince Philip with a smile and a firm handshake. There were to be many more formal and informal meetings with him over the next three of the best weeks of my life. He was truly a working President, and this was the second of his Commonwealth Study Conferences.

We were excited to be among people from 35 countries, chosen from government, industry, business, the professions, trades unions and many organisations. We were supposed to have some leadership potential and we were all between 25 and 45. English was our common language, except occasionally in remote French Canada, and membership of the Commonwealth a powerful link. We were alive with anticipation, and some trepidation, at the hectic, varied and demanding program and the prospect of crossing Canada from Montreal to Vancouver. We were filled with wonder as we met our colleagues and saw how many races, religions, cultures and traditions belong to the people and countries of the Commonwealth. The splendor and colour of national dress of a Nigerian or Ghanaian was hardly matched by the odd Akubra or even a kilt. The best we women could do was to stay tidy - quite a challenge during the week our home was a train.

Edinburgh Conference

Those three weeks were life changing. I wrote a long article describing our fields and methods of studying the impact of change on communities and individuals across a country. I would not alter a word. It was a vizual, emotional, factual and intellectual learning experience. Its insights. Its lessons are with me today and are as valid now as 55 years ago. And the Conferences are ongoing, though in different form, and now have been held all over the Commonwealth. A strong Association of former Members now numbers thousands.

A younger President, The Princess Royal, has proved herself a worthy successor - incisive, charming, insightful and prodigiously hard working. And I still wear the koala brooch, a mere trinket of mother of pearl and a silvery metal. Mother gave it to me on one of our weekends exploring Canberra. It reminds me of Mother and it reminds me of Prince Philip and of the Conferences and of Canada. It reminds me of what I learned and experienced and of the enduring friendships made across the Commonwealth.

Ms. Pauline Griffin, 1962 Commonwealth Study Conference Member

Sydney Australia, May '17