ANU School of Culture History and Language students have won a prestigious Commonwealth Supported Place (CSP) for the Master of Asian and Pacific Studies (MAPS).
The Master of Asian and Pacific Studies has been recently restructured to provide even greater breadth of possible areas of interest relevant to Asia and the Pacific, drawing on the depth of expertise at the ANU College of Asia and the Pacific. The new degree also includes an option for high-achieving students to complete a sub-thesis as a pathway to a PhD.
Some of the courses on offer through the program include; Human Rights in Asia and the Pacific, The Chinese Economy, Democracy in South East Asia, The Mongol Empire in World History, Archaeology in Asia as well as twelve different Asian language options.
MAPS student and self-confessed ‘train nerd’ Amanda Thompson recently landed her dream job at the Department of Infrastructure in the urban rail policy and investment area.
Amanda grew up in Melbourne, catching trains everywhere. After an Arts Law degree she did an internship in Malaysia at the International Womens' Rights Action Watch Asia Pacific (IWRAW).
Her interest in public policy and politics in Asia went on hold while Amanda took a graduate position in the Department of Infrastructure in aviation security.
“Last year I travelled in China with the Ice Dragons, a Canberra Dragon Boating squad. We started in Beijing and ended up in a small town near the Vietnamese border. The trip really cemented my desire to do something Asia-focussed.
“I was really impressed with the amount of flexibility in the program, and it’s been good to switch my mind to something else, rather than investment dollar figures all day at work.”
Ingrid O’ Sullivan is a secondary school teacher hailing from the Mallee country near Patchewallock, in country Victoria.
Her love of Indonesian culture and language began at boarding school in Melbourne, and continued at university. Whenever possible she travels widely in Asia. Her experiences always make it back to the classroom, where she strives to be a positive role model to her students.
Two years ago she won a teaching scholarship, which enabled her to live and study in Indonesia and refresh her skills and knowledge. There she met many students from ANU, which motivated her to pursue the Master of Asian and Pacific Studies.
“The new Australian Curriculum has an Asia-Pacific focus,” says Ingrid. “I’m a big supporter of that. It was just not a feature of education in Australia in the past.”
“ANU is a world leader in Asian Studies, so that’s why I packed up my bags after 15 years at the one school, moved up here without knowing anyone.”
Ingrid secured a job at Canberra Grammar High School, where they recently introduced Indonesian language classes.
“If I can, I would like to spend more time living somewhere in Asia in a professional capacity. I’d also love to work with schools and the curriculum and make sure schools are engaging with Asia in the best way possible.”
Steven Warwick completed his undergraduate at UNSW last year, majoring in International Relations and Asian studies. He came to Canberra for a six-month internship at the Australian Institute of International Affairs.
“I’m doing the Master of Asian and Pacific Studies because I’m interested in the area. It seems that not many people do social science degrees for career reasons, there is no set career path,” says Steven. Nevertheless, he feels that his options are open.
“For the last 30 years Australia has had a narrative of engaging more with the region, coming to terms with its geography. I am hoping my studies will be able to help me in the future to facilitate that process. I think Australia should be closer to the countries in our region.”