Sir Walter Murdoch School of Public Policy & International Affairs

What our ambassadors say


Since completing a Master of Public Policy and Management (MPPM) in 2016, I was fortunate enough to have the opportunity to travel to the small island nation of Tuvalu as a volunteer on the MEYS Staff.jpgAustralian Volunteers Program. In the 6 months I was in Tuvalu I held the role of Youth Development Advisor to the Tuvalu Youth Department, and was able to use the skills I developed in research, evaluation and report preparation to conduct an assessment of the National Youth Policy, having studied a similarly broad range of topics in the MPPM and in my undergraduate studies at Murdoch. Because of this broad knowledge, I was able to participate in national discussions with government stakeholders including UN agencies on some really interesting and important national topics such as climate change, health and corruption prevention. Through the MPPM internship option, I already had some exposure to Australian aid programs in Indonesia through the ACICIS program. So I have had the interesting opportunity to go from one of the largest in-country programs to the smallest, providing some very interesting insights and very useful experiences.

Jade Contarino (Master of Public Policy and Management)
Youth Development Advisor, Government of Tuvalu

Samuel Edge.jpg

I chose to complete a Master’s in Public Policy and Management because I wanted to be proactive about the opportunities available to me. I knew after an internship in the public sector that I needed to expand my knowledge of best-practice policy, if I was to have an edge over other graduates.
However, what I found during my time in the Sir Walter Murdoch School was so much more than simple knowledge. I was exposed to some of the best researchers in the field and policy practitioners who worked across all levels of Government. I was given the opportunity to work alongside people who were nearing their 20th year of public service. Best of all, my own commitments were recognised and I experienced a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity with Global Voices, travelling to Marrakech for the UNFCCC Conference of the Parties.
For others who are unsure about what to do next, if you have just finished one experience at University and believe you need to further develop your skills, I would recommend giving the Sir Walter Murdoch School a try. Through my Master’s, I gained the knowledge and confidence in that knowledge that I believe lead me to where I am now, giving back to the community as a public servant.

Samuel Edge
Graduate Project Officer
Department of Communities

"It is very gratifying to have competed a Master of Development Studies, and to have written a thesis. I have come out of it with a regard for the breadth of development work wider than I had expected. It helps me talk clearly about rights-based approaches that I had previously only been able to acknowledge as important. By identifying and exploring current debates, and having practitioners share their experience, contextualised development work in new ways for me. It has built my confidence to make new contributions to human rights work.

When I compare my study at Murdoch to that of friends and family elsewhere, I see that face-to-face, on-campus work has made for a captivating, provoking experience of great value. I learnt from lecturers, I learnt from students, I learnt from visiting-scholar seminars, and I learnt from impromptu conversations with interesting people in hallways. Extra-curricular activities became extraordinary learning opportunities. Thank you for providing an engaging and professional experience at Murdoch."

Shane Guthrie
Masters of Development Studies graduate

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“I would recommend the Masters of Health Administration, Policy and Leadership course to anyone interested in strategic management and policy advocacy in the health sector. I have found it to be a great course and the assistance and guidance I have received from the various unit lecturers and administration staff have been far above expectation.

The great thing about the Sir Walter Murdoch School is that they are interested in how you want to learn and are flexible in structuring the learning, you so you get the best outcome for the direction you want to take to impact your future professional goals.

I was interested in doing development studies but because of my community health background this course was recommended to me. I took the recommended core units and then was able to choose electives geared toward development courses, so I have a holistic view of health and development.

The highlight for me here is the learning environment in this university. The classes are small and intensive with a lot of self-directed study. As a Masters student, your experience and skills are acknowledged and the aim is to incorporate current theories and methodologies into the issues you’re interested in and how to use these practically. There are also public lectures on various issues that run throughout the year which you can attend.”

Emma Wakpi, 2016 Australia Awards student from Papua New Guinea studying Masters of Health Administration, Policy and Leadership

Claire Smith

Working as a Political Advisor for the United States Consulate General really opened Claire Smith’s eyes to the challenges faced by developing countries. She knew she had to help tackle climate change issues in these regions.

With public policy and international affairs increasingly on the global agenda, Claire wanted to learn more than just theory. “I was drawn to Murdoch because it has a unique teaching style which offers a bit of theory but is also very applied and interactive. I like that Murdoch is a progressive university that is adaptive and up with the times.”

Read more on Claire Smith's story.

Claire Smith
Master of Development Studies


"I found the course, its applications and execution to be outstanding. In my opinion, this course has set the benchmark of what professional masters degrees should aspire to become, this degree fully encapsulates the perfect balance of academic research and scholarship, professional development through fantastic networking opportunities and personal development through engaging with the wonderful staff at the SWMS and student cohort. I am very pleased to be participating in a challenging, but very rewarding degree which would stand me in good stead for a career in the international arena. I would strongly recommend this course to anyone who is looking at a career in international affairs, knowing they will be fully supported by the SWMS who will ensure students will be able to reach their full potential."

Callum Ince, 2016 Masters of International Affairs and Security student

Cassie Houghton Image"I was hesitant to return to study after having a break for five years, but I felt that getting a qualification directly related to policy would be really interesting and would help me to advance my career. Learning from such reputable academic staff from such a wide variety subject areas makes it a very valuable experience.I literally put the theory into practice every day and I’m looking forward to exploring where my qualification will take me."

Cassie Houghton
Master of Public Policy and Policy Officer, WA Dept of Housing

Yona Chawanje

“I chose Murdoch because I was inspired by research presentations given by Murdoch lecturers at a conference I attended. I knew Murdoch would mould me to be skilful in handling policy matters in a dynamic world. I’d recommend Murdoch because of the great learning facilities, the skills obtained through this degree will enable me to serve the Malawi government in areas of policy, with greater knowledge.”

Yona Chawanje
Master of Public Policy

Ei Hnin Phyu Htun

"I knew I had much to gain from choosing to study Public Policy at the Sir Walter Murdoch School. The coursework is very relevant to the reform strategy of my country. I hope to return home and make a valuable contribution to sustainable governance in Myanmar. The school's academic support has enhanced my learning experience and I have great confidence that the knowledge and quality training I am receiving will serve me well in the future."

Ei Hnin Phyu Htun
Master of Public Policy

View Ei's story here.