Changemaker - Michael Sheldrick CitWA BA LLB UWA

Chief Policy and Government Affairs Officer, Global Citizen

Michael Sheldrick

Global Citizen

I currently oversee our Global Policy and Advocacy team at Global Citizen,  a movement of engaged citizens who are using their collective voice to end extreme poverty by 2030. 

On our platform, Global Citizens learn about the systemic causes of extreme poverty, take action on those issues, and earn rewards for their actions — as part of a global community committed to lasting change.

With 10 years to go to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals, we stand at the turning point for the future of people and the planet. We need to make major progress in reducing poverty and gender inequality, and stopping climate change. It’ll be a long and hard path. But, like the great civil rights and anti-apartheid movements before us, we can succeed, because we are more powerful together.

For more information on how you can use the power of your voice, visit and follow @GlblCtzn TwitterFacebook and Instagram using #GlobalCitizen

Value in a degree

I studied a combined degree in Law and Arts, majoring in political science and international relations.

Although I don't practice law in the technical sense, my degree definitely comes in handy when working with UN conventions and treaties, as well as statutory legislation. In my current role, I found myself relying on research skills I acquired during my degree, not to mention the contractual skills I recently had to utilise when I drafted several partnership agreements with other non-profit organisations.

Sometimes it's the little things that count the most though. Letter writing skills I learnt in Law's Commercial Practice come in handy on an almost daily basis!

Making a difference

Extreme poverty persists in part because of our own actions and beliefs - including the existence of international policies and systems that keep people living in extreme poverty.

If we learn more about why extreme poverty exists, make informed consumer decisions, and use our voices to advocate for change, we can ensure that the businesses, organizations and governments in our lives are contributing to a world without extreme poverty. Global Citizen and our partners have a track record of running programs and campaigns that have real impact on the lives of the poor – and we hope that you’ll join us.

Global Citizen encourages you to learn more and take action on a range of issues related to extreme poverty, helping to build the movement that will end extreme poverty. We're not going to end extreme poverty by ourselves, and we're not going to do it in a day, a week, or even a year. But, by being a part of a diverse movement of many organisations, all around the world, we can play our part in ending extreme poverty.

UWA and me

I started working for Global Citizen (then known as Global Poverty Project) during my final two years at UWA and I found all my lecturers supportive of campaigns we were running on shoe-string budgets. The Arts Faculty in particular were very helpful, allowing my work to take place in the Anthropology Common Room. Additionally, they were flexible in accommodating my sporadic overseas travel schedule. Where I thought they would be hostile and rigid, many of them encouraged me to embrace these opportunities and allowed flexibility with assignment submissions. On one occasion, a lecturer even allowed me to sit a supplementary exam. Without this support and understanding, it would have been difficult for me to flourish early on.

About Michael


Michael Sheldrick is Chief Policy and Government Relations Officer at Global Citizen, where he oversees international advocacy campaigns in support of universal sanitation, climate mitigation and adaptation efforts, access to education, food security, gender equality and disease elimination and prevention.

Michael oversees the policy and impact direction of the Global Citizen movement and has worked on campaigns in North America, Europe, India, South Africa and Australia. He has worked with many artists, heads of government and philanthropists including Rihanna, Beyoncé, Usher, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau of Canada, Prime Minister Erna Solberg of Norway, President Cyril Ramaphosa of South Africa, President Akufo-Addo of Ghana, former UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, and former Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard. He has been instrumental in mobilising political and public support for the Sustainable Development Goals.

Michael's writing on these topics has been published by the Guardian, Huffington Post, The Diplomatic Courier, The Diplomat Magazine, The South China Morning Post, The West Australian, Fairfax Media and he has been interviewed by Sky News, Forbes Magazine, VICE Impact, The New Yorker, ABC and the BBC, among others. He holds degrees in law and political science from the University of Western Australia, was 2013 Young Western Australian of the Year, and has previously been listed by The Sunday Times as one of WA's 50 Best and Brightest. In 2017, Michael was named by the Secretary-General of the Commonwealth as a finalist for Young Commonwealth Person of the Year. Michael’s efforts, and those of the team he leads, was recently profiled in the Activate series, which aired on National Geographic in the fall of 2019. He is also a board member for the Ban Ki-moon Centre for Global Citizens.