TUESDAY night at Government House involved a truly historic event with the appointment of the first ever Falkland Islands Junior Ambassadors (FIJA), Hannah McPhee and India Clarke.

The proposal for the FIJA programme was put forward to Members and the Governor by the Hon Roger Edwards, who in describing the aim of the programme, stated: “It is to promote the Islands’ unique culture, society and values, and our environmental and economic goals, whilst building on relationships and garnering support for the Islanders right to self-determination.”

The initiative was open to all 18 to 25 year olds undertaking at least a two-year course in the United Kingdom; 23 students met the criteria and were invited to apply. The applicants participated in a three-day intensive training session organised by Falkland College which covered Falkland Islands history, the economy, farming, public speaking, interview techniques, types of events that would be attended and etiquette. The students were then required to give a presentation to their peers on a topic they had chosen, undertook a written examination and then a final interview. The Hon Roger Edwards thanked all from the Falkland Islands Government and the private sector who helped to facilitate the various sessions in what was a very thorough process.

In awarding Hannah and India with their appointments, His Excellency the Governor stated that, as far as they were aware, the Falkland Islands is the first Overseas Territory to have such a programme in place. The term of office will be from two to four years, dependent on the length of course each FIJA is studying. Both ladies were pleased to be given the opportunity to be the first Junior Ambassadors, expressing their pride and enthusiasm for the opportunity to represent the Islands.

Hannah McPhee is an eighth-generation Falkland Islander currently living in Belfast, Northern Ireland. She left the Islands in 2014 to further her education, initially attending Peter Symonds College to sit her A Level Qualifications. In 2016 after completing her A Levels, Hannah moves to Belfast to study BSc Biomedical Science at Queen’s University Belfast, and graduated in 2019 with First Class Honours. Currently, Hannah studies Medicine at her alma mater, and hopes to graduate as a medical doctor in 2024. When Hannah is in the Islands, she works at King Edward VII Memorial Hospital and is an active member of the community, having been involved with various organisations including the Falkland Islands Dramatic and Operatic Association and the Stanley Sports Association Christmas races for a number of years. Becoming a Junior Ambassador for the Islands is a great privilege to Hannah, who hopes that during her time in this role she can help raise awareness of our wonderful country and help spread our key messages. 

India Clarke is currently pursuing an apprenticeship in Health and Social Care at Pembrokeshire College in Haverfordwest, Wales. In 2014 she left the Falkland Islands to further her education by attending Peter Symonds College and undertaking A-levels. After completing her A-Levels she decided to come back to the Falkland Islands and has worked across multiple government departments and businesses. India is very grateful that she has been picked to be a Junior Ambassador and is excited to start the journey of raising awareness and promoting our amazing Islands.