Alumni Profile: Vorapong Vadhanasindhu (2005)

Since leaving Ormond in 2009, Vorapong Vadhanasindhu (2005) has gone on to a life of diplomacy, working in a number of roles with the Thai Government which have taken him all over the world, and now to the Royal Thai Consulate-General in Kunming, China.

Having been educated abroad from a young age, Vorapong, at the encouragement of family and friends, had long considered a diplomatic career. Inspired by a desire to make a contribution to his country,

Vorapong moved to the United Kingdom after spending five years at Ormond and the University of Melbourne, where he completed a Master in International Relations at the University of Bristol. From there, he returned home to Bangkok and began work as an Intern at the United Nations Resident Coordinator’s Office in Thailand.

‘I always knew I wanted to go back to serve my country one day, and while I was grateful to gain experience working in the private and international sectors, and enjoyed my time living and studying overseas, a career in government always interested me the most,’ Vorapong says.

Vorapong’s first job with the Royal Thai Government was as a junior analyst in the Office of the National Security Council. He then entered the Civil Service, joining the Office of the National Economic and Social Development Council before moving into the Foreign Ministry in 2014. Since then, he has worked on a number of issues, including disarmament and promoting the “Sufficiency Economy Philosophy” of the late King Bhumibol Adulyadej the Great, as an approach towards achieving the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals.

Since 2018 Vorapong has served as a Consul at the Royal Thai Consulate-General in Kunming, China, where he is in charge of the Consular Section.

‘In my role as a diplomat, I can use the knowledge and skills gained internationally to make a contribution to my country, her Government and people, which is very rewarding,’ he says. ‘Through my Consular work in particular I am helping fellow Thais in need, and seeing our work make a difference.’

Reflecting on his time at Ormond, Vorapong believes many experiences at College either shaped or reinforced the attributes and values which led him to his career path.

‘The sense of community and teamwork which is a hallmark of College life is something I continue to apply in how I work with others today, whether as a public servant working within my own and with other agencies, and as a diplomat and consular officer working in different international contexts,’ Vorapong says.

‘There were also some really important learning experiences in management and responsibility, problem-solving, negotiation and communication, while my journey from being a Fresher to a student leader in my final years at Ormond taught me the importance of knowing how and when to be a follower and a leader.

That in particular is a lesson I’ve taken into my career, taking time as a follower to learn the ropes before preparing to step up and lead when opportunities arise, or when circumstances demand.’

We would love to hear from other Ormondians working in foreign affairs and diplomacy, either in Australia or abroad. Get in touch at alumni@ormond.unimelb.edu.au.

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