Maria Fe Lazarte

Maria Fe Lazarte has been an advisory board member of YFU Australia since March 2020. She is an Intellectual Property (IP) lawyer admitted to practice in Argentina and Australia currently working in Sydney as in-house Counsel for a multinational organization. 

"Being able to contribute and ‘give back’ to YFU has a deep meaning for me, as I believe that the experience of being an exchange student in the 90’s contributed to my decision of continuing to explore the world in recent years when I decided to move to Australia."

"I went on exchange to Catonsville, Maryland, USA in 1996 and became a volunteer and temporary host sibling of YFU inbound students to Argentina (my home country). I assisted with arrival and pre-departure orientations and greeted students at local airports and bus terminals. In May 2000, while pursuing a law degree at the University of Buenos Aires, I joined the National Office as an inbound coordinator and, a few years later performed an outbound role assessing YFU candidates and interviewing natural parents while interacting with my YFU peers overseas. In 2003 Ileft YFU to pursue my career as an IP lawyer advising local and foreign clients. My passion and deep connection to YFU and its staff members continued for many years and as a result I became a host mother to my former host baby sister. In 2014 I moved to Sydney, Australia as part of a new adventure in my personal and professional life. Shortly after re-qualifying as an Australian lawyer and pursuing an in-house career, I became involved with the team of volunteers who re-launched YFU Australia/New Zealand and have been serving as an advisory board member since 2020. In addition, I became an International Board (IB) member representing the Asia Pacific and Oceania region.

Joining the leadership teams at a local and international levels has been a great step into my professional development as I was able to connect with other colleagues from all over the world while contributing to the improvement of the organization. One of the biggest challenges for me was to provide advice to the Global Office and the Australian/New Zealand organization during the first two years of the Pandemic. Those were turbulent years filled with uncertainty and lock downs with limited chances to travel, meet in person and re-engage with family and friends from my home country. Whilst the journey has been intense, I am very pleased to see some light at the end of the tunnel as borders re-open, exchange resumes in my region while the leadership team bonds and shows enthusiasm to continue working on the growth and development of YFU."

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