A PICKERING student has been given the opportunity of a lifetime to work with an Australian MP after being awarded sponsorship by the town’s Rotary Club.

Harriet Allen, 21, of Middleton Road, will spend three months with Greg Piper, an Independent MP, as part of Rotary International’s Rotary Services for Youth scheme.

A former Lady Lumley’s School student, Harriet, who graduated with a law degree from the University of Newcastle this year, said: “It will be an extended life experience in Australia. I have always wanted to do something involving politics and the law.”

At Lady Lumley’s she achieved big success in languages and history. “It is a brilliant school,” she added. “It has a wonderful ethose of encouraging students to maximise their life chances.”

She will be working alongside Greg Piper in New South Wales, campaigning and researching for him during his campaign to be re-elected to the Sydney Parliament.

Harriet, who has lived in Pickering for 15 years, was a leading member of the town’s Explorer Scouts and has now set her sights on pursuing a career in the British Civil Service.

“The experience I hope to gain in Australia will give me an insight into politics and government,” said Harriet, who has also worked for the European Union and had experience at the Courts of Justice and the Foreign and Commonwealth Office.

But she is keen to encourage other young people to seek opportunities abroad.

Other students under the Rotary scheme have been involved in such ambitious projects as archaeological exchanges to Egypt, said Harriet.

Ian Williams, president of Pickering Rotary Club, said: “We’re delighted that Harriet has been accepted on the exchange programme. We couldn’t wish for a more impressive person to sponsor. We know she will be an excellent ambassador for the Rotary organisation and for Pickering.”