New scholarship opens global doors

January 13, 2015

Students at Murdoch University’s elite graduate policy school could find themselves mixing with world leaders like UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon and International Monetary Fund head Christine Lagarde, thanks to a new scholarship.

The Mal and Karyl Nairn Global Voices Scholarship will enable a top performing student enrolled at the Sir Walter Murdoch School of Public Policy and International Affairs to join delegations of their peers at major international forums such as the United Nations, the World Bank and APEC (Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation) meetings.

The delegations are organised by Global Voices, an organisation which aims to bring Australia’s future leaders face-to-face with key international decision makers.

“The Mal and Karyl Nairn Global Voices Scholarship will be a game-changer for the recipient,” said the Sir Walter Murdoch School’s Dean, Professor Benjamin Reilly.

“Many Sir Walter Murdoch students already pursue valuable research internships with Parliament or the State Government here in Perth. But this program opens up the possibility of completing their degree at a national and global level of decision-making. The contacts they make will be invaluable and possibly life-changing.”

Following a merit-based selection, the student’s journey with Global Voices involves serious preparation. As well as meeting Australia’s leaders in Canberra, delegates must produce a quality piece of research, become a published opinion author, and highlight their story through local media.

“The experience starts in Canberra with meetings with politicians and civil servants in government, the opposition and in Federal Parliament, before heading overseas as part of an international delegation, working closely with Australian government officials,” said Professor Reilly.

The successful student’s work as part of the Global Voices delegation will also count towards their Masters degree at the Sir Walter Murdoch School.

“We want to see our best students having influence on the world stage,” said Professor Reilly.

“By providing them the opportunity to engage with big policy issues both at home and abroad, the Global Voices scholarship fits the Sir Walter Murdoch School’s mission perfectly.”

Having experienced firsthand the incredible opportunities that come from studying overseas, both Mal and Karyl Nairn said they were delighted to be able to help others pursue opportunities found abroad.

Professor Mal Nairn is a former Murdoch University Vice Chancellor, Deputy Vice Chancellor and Dean of the Veterinary School and his daughter Karyl Nairn is a London-based QC.

Professor Nairn’s belief in the value of the overseas student experience started with a PhD program at the University of Minnesota reinforced by his national involvement with the Australian-American Fulbright Commission and State Selection Committee for the Sir John Monash Scholarship.

Ms Nairn said following a law degree in Western Australia, enrolling for a masters degree at the London School of Economics played a pivotal role in her career and the broadening of her horizons.

The scholarship will be available to Sir Walter Murdoch School students from 2015.

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