Dorothy Mason, or Dot to her friends, is one of those rare Canberra locals at The Australian National University. Although Canberra is the most recent place she has called home, she was born in the United Kingdom, spent her early years in France, and has also lived in Manila and Hanoi.
As a first-year student, Dot has already been making the most of her time at the ANU. Beyond university, she has found another inclusive community: Canberra’s vibrant live music scene.
“The best thing about it is that it’s so accessible. You just have to go to gigs at (local pub) The Phoenix for a few weeks and people at the bar start to recognise you.”
Choosing the ANU made a lot of sense for Dot, especially with the unique Bachelor of Philosophy (Honours), or PhB program. The PhB will allow her to complete three independent research projects during her undergraduate degree, in addition to a year-long research project.
Dot recently returned from the Political Economy of Myanmar study tour, which included guided site visits and lectures at the University of Yangon.
“If was my first experience of doing fieldwork and that whole process just blew me away. It finally clicked for me that academia can be applied.”
Dot delved into the complex politics and history of Myanmar, exploring what current transformations mean for the country and the region.
“It’s a really dynamic time to be studying Myanmar, not least because of its delicate democratic transition. Now, it’s kind of ‘entering’ the world and it’s so interesting to see where this will take the country.”
The field school experience has also inspired Dot to devote her next independent project to studying Myanmar. She plans to further interrogate the topics that arose during her fieldwork, focusing in particular on the geopolitics of Myanmar.
When she’s not enjoying live music, co-hosting her Woroni radio show, or learning new moves at her jujitsu class, you can also find Dot cooking up delicious plates of pierogi at the Polish Club.