Congratulations to all of the graduates from the ANU College of Asia and the Pacific! Here, three of our grads talk about how their studies have shaped the direction they are now headed.
From studies of future fictional villages that marry historical trajectories and contemporary reality, to connecting climate science with public policy, the ANU College of Asia and the Pacific (CAP) is once again providing a high quality cohort of graduands this year.
Yonjae Paik, from the School of Culture, History and Language, has been fascinated by a place that brings together urban and rural, the individual and the community in a fictional village called CiViChon, a City in a Village—(Ci=City, Vi=Village and ‘Chon’ 村=’town’ or ‘village’ in Korean).
CiViChon is a spatial and participatory experiment in collaboration with project leader Kyong Park (UC San Diego), Albert Park (Claremont McKenna College), Annie Pedret (Seoul National University) and other contributors.
The CiViChon website has been inspired by agrarian movements that highlight the imbalance of developed nations which have a centralised economy, culture and education in one global city.
“It’s rewarding, as a historian, to play a part in making history and the present meet, and possibly in defining the future,” Yonjae said.
“It’s heartening that my research has inspired artists and designers to use their imagination to visualise something so innovative.”
Gabriella Warden, from the Crawford School of Public Policy, is another graduate who has followed her passion – in this case learning more about effective climate change solutions and how policy can drive them.
She has completed the Master of Climate Change program at Crawford School after experiencing the first-hand impacts of climate change while growing up on her family’s cattle farm in rural New South Wales.
She vividly remembers watching her dad hand feed cattle when there was no grass, but it wasn’t until high school that she was introduced to climate change as a scientific phenomenon. A revelation delivered by her year seven science teacher about of the greenhouse effect struck a nerve.
“I remember my disbelief - humans were knowingly driving this huge, existential threat? That’s when I decided I wanted to work in climate change. Although it’s only been in the last few years that I considered doing my Masters,” Gabriella said.
“Climate change is a ubiquitous challenge. It touches everything, with unique impacts across every sector and society. No matter where my career takes me, the knowledge, skills and connections I have made during the Masters of Climate Change program will provide a solid foundation.”
Haula Noor, from Coral Bell School of Asia Pacific Affairs, is a PhD graduate of the Department of Political and Social Change where her doctorate research project was titled The Family Context and Its Role in Making Jihadists: The Case of Jihadist Families in Indonesia.
Huala came to ANU after she received her BA in Psychology and a MA in Interdisciplinary Islamic Studies, both from the State Islamic University Syarif Hidayatullah in Indonesia.
As a mother, Huala is also passionate about sharing her experiences with other Indonesian women.
“Although many Indonesian women now pursue their studies and obtain PhDs, this is not the case for women from Muslim-Betawi backgrounds like myself,” Huala said.
“Women, especially in my village, do not always have an opportunity to pursue higher education due to socio-cultural barriers.
“But my time at ANU, and particularly at the Bell School, has taught me that experiencing — and surviving — the journey of obtaining knowledge itself is the real achievement.
“Receiving critiques from world-leading academics, bright students, experienced researchers, and engaging professors has taught me that we can gain knowledge from everything and everyone around us. Experience is always the best teacher.”
Photo: Graduates (L-R) Gabriella Warden, Huala Noor and Yonjae Paik.