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Pat Turner Scholarship a big step towards mastering public policy

Tim Holt image
28 January 2022

Tim Holt’s career is about to take a big step forward after receiving a Pat Turner Scholarship to study a Master of Public Policy at the ANU College of Asia and the Pacific (CAP).

Tim is one of many Pat Turner scholars from CAP where applicants can choose to study any postgraduate degree, from a graduate certificate through to a PhD.

Pat Turner scholars are Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander APS employees, who undertake a full-time postgraduate qualification at either The Australian National University or Charles Darwin University.

CAP currently has five Pat Turner scholars (Steve Munns, Sharna Bartley, Kayannie Denigan, Emily Pugin and Adina Jordan), plus Tim who will join Genna Lehman in 2022.

We spoke with Tim to find out more about the opportunities that lie ahead.

What does the Pat Turner Scholarship mean to you?

I feel privileged to be selected for the Pat Turner Scholarship. Being able to stand aside from my APS role to focus on my studies will help me get the most out of the program. I am also humbled to follow in the footsteps of previous Indigenous scholars who have gone on to make incredible contributions to the APS and the community.

On a personal level, as a father of two boys, I want to demonstrate that one can achieve through hard work and dedication at any age and stage of life.

What made you choose the College of Asia and the Pacific?

I attained my undergraduate degree at the College of Business and Economics. I wanted to branch out and broaden my understanding of current and future strategic policy issues, both domestically and internationally. This naturally led me to the College of Asia and the Pacific. Following conversations with college graduates and employees, I knew it was a perfect fit for me.

Additionally, the College provides me access to some of the world’s leading scholars and policy experts, reinforcing my decision.

Why the Masters of Public Policy?

I wanted to find a graduate degree that would enhance my previous studies and have a practical application to a wide range of future APS career opportunities.

What is your current position and organisation?

I am a Director at the Department of Finance; however, I am currently on secondment to the Department of Health on the National COVID Vaccine Taskforce where I am the Executive Officer to the Deputy Coordinator General.

How would you describe your career so far?

It has been very rewarding. I have been lucky enough to work in a variety of roles across several APS departments, on a range of interesting policies, programs and projects. I am also fortunate to have worked with some of the finest leaders in the APS and have learned a lot along the way.

What are you hoping your postgraduate study will mean for your career?

It will sharpen my policy nous by empowering me to become a policy leader within the APS. At completion, I expect to be able to deliver strategic policy advice to the Government of the day, with the policies having a tangible impact on Australians.

What are your hopes and expectations heading into the program?

I am going in open-minded and looking forward to embracing student life and the personal and professional growth that comes with learning.

What advice would you give those who are thinking applying for the Pat Turner Scholarship?

Do it! It is such a unique opportunity. The application process may look daunting but you have the full support of the ANU and the APS. You have access to resources and people to put you in the best position to be selected.


Applications for 2023 are open, so find out more about how you can become the next Pat Turner scholar.

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Updated:  24 April, 2017/Responsible Officer:  Dean, ANU College of Asia & the Pacific/Page Contact:  CAP Web Team