Introducing the 2022 R.G. Menzies Scholars
We are delighted to announce the winners of one of the most prestigious national awards for postgraduate study in the United States. The Menzies Scholarship grants have assisted over eighty-eight talented Australians to undertake post graduate study in a wide range of disciplines. While not exhaustive, these include architecture, education, public health, law and business and the broader arts and sciences.
Kate is a lawyer who is passionate about access to justice and improving the structures of Australia’s political and legal systems. She is currently the Senior Solicitor for the Aboriginal Legal Service NSW/ACT in Broken Hill, where she oversees the work of the Aboriginal Legal Service in the Far West of NSW (Broken Hill, Wilcannia and Wentworth). She will be studying a Master of Laws (LLM) at Harvard Law School, with a focus on public law. Kate graduated with a Bachelor of Laws (Hons) and a Bachelor of International Relations from the Australian National University in 2019, with First Class Honours in Law.
Her honours thesis, which considered the availability of judicial review at an international level for actions of the United Nations Security Council, was published in 2020 in the Australian Yearbook of International Law.
During her studies she interned with the legal teams at both the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade in Canberra and the Australian Mission to the United Nations in New York, was a research assistant for Professor Donald Rothwell at ANU Law School, and was a policy advisor for Senator Tim Storer. These experiences, particularly her time working in the Australian Senate, shaped her interest in Australian governance, democracy and the legal structures that define Australia’s political system.
Upon graduating, Kate worked as the tipstaff to Justice Peter Garling RFD at the Supreme Court of New South Wales. In this role, she developed a passion for litigation and, more specifically, an interest in the role the judiciary can play ensuring accountability for those who hold political power.
Kate joined the Aboriginal Legal Service in Dubbo in January 2021, and was made the Senior Solicitor for Broken Hill in January 2022. In this role, Kate has found that a number of broad structural issues within our political and legal systems manifest into significantly poor policy and political outcomes for many living in remote Indigenous communities. This ongoing work has solidified Kate’s view that a passion for Australian democracy must also bring with it a drive to improve Australian democracy.
Ultimately, she hopes to return to Australia after her LLM to continue to work as a lawyer, with a focus on work that will positively impact the structures of our political and legal systems and improve access to justice for historically disenfranchised Australians.
Alicia is currently a Consultant at Boston Consulting Group (BCG). She will be studying the Master of Business Administration at Harvard Business School. Alicia completed her Bachelor of Commerce with Honours in Accounting from the University of Melbourne. During her undergraduate degree, she worked full-time as a trainee at PwC, and while completing her honours thesis, she worked as a full-time academic tutor. Her honours thesis examined the effectiveness of voluntary gender targets on Australian corporate boards, and the flow on effects in improving company-wide gender diversity. After graduation, Alicia joined BCG where she has worked with retail, financial, technology and public sector clients.
Having grown up and worked at her parents’ local Australia Post office, and consulted for pharmacy and postal companies at BCG, Alicia is passionate about the role that essential services can play in supporting Australians from all walks of life. In particular, she is interested in learning how essential services can balance the challenge of continuing to serve the community, while maintaining financial viability and market leadership in increasingly competitive markets.
Outside work, Alicia volunteers with a charity that provides pro-bono consulting services to nonprofits. She is also an avid lover of music and musical theatre and played violin in musical theatre productions and community orchestras throughout university.
After completing her MBA, Alicia hopes to work with leaders in e-commerce and retail to understand the future of supply chain management, retail and customer experience. She hopes to bring this experience back to Australia so that she can support Australia’s essential services to continue to enhance customer experience and deliver value to the community.
Alicia’s scholarship was supported in part by the Berg Family Foundation, Tony Burgess and Bill Ferris.
Laura is an international lawyer and diplomat specialising in multilateral organisations and global peace and security issues. She has served overseas at Australia’s Permanent Mission to the African Union in Addis Ababa, with accreditation to Ethiopia, South Sudan and Djibouti, and worked for NATO as a civilian policy advisor at the Resolute Support military mission in Afghanistan, supporting NATO’s engagement on the Afghan peace process. Most recently, Laura worked on human rights and gender issues as First Secretary at Australia’s Permanent Mission to the United Nations in New York.
She also has extensive experience working on regional and maritime security challenges in the Indo-Pacific including the South China Sea in Canberra-based roles.
Laura is pursuing a Mid-Career Master in Public Administration at Harvard Kennedy School where she will focus on multilateral responses to peace and security challenges. She was motivated to pursue further study after watching the outbreak of conflict in Ethiopia and Afghanistan, two places she has called home, in 2021. She is particularly keen to expand on her experience working on the South Sudan and Afghanistan peace negotiations, including by exploring lessons learned from the Afghan peace process to inform future talks with the Taliban.
Laura has a Bachelor of Arts/Laws from the University of Newcastle and a Master of International Security Law from ANU. She is currently a fellow with Harvard Davies Centre’s Arms Control Negotiation Academy, studying international negotiation theory.