When international student Sandesh Silpakar touched down in Australia to study at Crawford School over two years ago, he never expected to be leaving as a highly respected student leader.
The Master of Public Policy student and outgoing President of the Crawford School Students’ Association (CSSA) says his life completely changed after moving to Australia from his home country of Nepal.
At Crawford School, his responsibilities shifted from his day job of advocating for community rights in Nepal, to encouraging, motivating and leading the student community.
As President of the CSSA, Silpakar managed a small committee of like-minded students, all passionate about making the student experience at Crawford School a memorable and beneficial one. Silpakar said he was motivated by his admiration of the school.
“The position allowed me to use all the skills I had learnt from my previous work in Nepal and while studying my Master degree at Crawford School. I became a better leader with many skills learnt from [my] peers.
“My vision for the CSSA was to further strengthen the organisation with increased participation from current students of all programs and to encourage peer learning,” said Silpakar.
Silpakar was joined by his young family in Canberra five months after he arrived - enabling his four-year-old daughter and wife to enjoy the Australian adventure together as a family.
Choosing to study at Crawford School wasn’t a difficult decision for Silpakar. After building a successful career in Nepal, he decided he was ready to take the next step to further his career and ensure he could take his newly developed skills home to help the development of Nepal.
“It feels marvellous to know my peers are potential global leaders. Witnessing past students returning as current global leaders during conferences and other school events proves the point. I feel privileged to be undertaking my Master degree with global change makers,” said Silpakar.
“My personal experience of studying at Crawford was priceless. Besides learning from experts, I think I have also learnt a lot from my peers from all over the world. Expert guidance in addition to peer learning added a great value to my learning at Crawford School. I think this experience is unique to Crawford because it is home to students from so many different nationalities,” said Silpakar.
Silpakar’s advice to current and future students was simple.
“Keep in touch with your peers through the Asia and the Pacific Policy Society. They are global change makers. They are the future influencers – respect and remember them,” said Silpakar.