A career in politics & policy: Insights from our alumni

Each year two Ormond students with a particular interest in politics and policy have the opportunity to visit Canberra during Budget Week. It’s a fantastic opportunity to see some of the inner-workings of the Capital during one of its busiest weeks, and meet with a range of Ormond alumni working in and around politics. Unfortunately, border closures and the impacts of COVID-19 meant the Budget Tour couldn’t go ahead as planned this year, but thankfully, the advent of the digital age meant our students were still able to connect with alumni working in politics and policy.

Third-year students Anna Campbell and Harrison Carter were selected to participate in this year’s Budget Tour, and last month had the opportunity to meet with six alumni working in and around politics at a state and federal level.

For Anna, the event was a fantastic opportunity to gain an insight into what working into politics is actually like.

‘It was great to hear such candid reflections on what a career in politics can look like.’

‘It can definitely be tough, especially in the ‘bear pit’, but there were such a diverse range of experiences across the group which helped to broaden my understanding of what types of jobs are out there.’

Anna is currently in the third year of her Bachelor of Arts with a Diploma of Languages, and intends to continue with an Honours year in politics.

‘While not necessarily surprising, it was very telling that many on the panel held a second language pretty well fluently. These languages were all very different, but reaffirmed my commitment to my Diploma in Spanish, as it seems a second language can sometimes help to open doorways.’

For Harrison, hearing from the panel opened his eyes to the many and varied roles which are on offer in government.

‘I really appreciated their insights about what they do in their roles on a daily basis.’

‘Many said that working in the public service means that you are constantly required to become familiar with whatever the thrust of government attention was commanding, which emphasises the need to have a broad knowledge and understanding across many areas of policy.’

Harrison was also pleased about the strong Ormond networks which they have held throughout their careers.

‘The group spoke very highly of their alumni networks as a great resource in helping to navigate their respective careers, and how they frequently bump into many of their fellow Ormond contemporaries in their day jobs, which was really nice to hear.’

Thank you to Charlotte Grover Johnson (2011), Huw Hutchison (2011), Luke Bennett (2011), Brigid O’Farrell-White (2012), Felicity Gent (2013) and Josh Edwards (2018) for their participation in the panel.

We would love to hear from alumni working in politics and public policy in Canberra, and who are interested in helping to facilitate next year’s Ormond Budget Trip. For more information, get in touch with our Alumni & Community Engagement Manager, Ralf Sternad at rsternad@ormond.unimelb.edu.au.



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