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Crawford School introduces our fantastic staff, so that you can meet the people of Asia and the Pacific’s leading graduate policy school.
This time around, School Manager Nick Walsh talks about celebrating Crawford’s development over the past year, and why he believes that this year of crises has not only brought challenges, but also opportunities.
What is your role at Crawford School, and what do you enjoy most about it?
As School Manager, I am lucky enough to work with everyone, including the staff in our teaching programs, research centres and administrative teams. I get to see the complete picture of our activities and be involved in all the exciting new projects – as well as the challenges! I feel that this oversight helps me contribute to both the strategic planning and daily operations of Crawford, which is very satisfying.
Can you tell us about one of your personal highlights working at Crawford School?
We have had lots of great wins over the last couple of years - the launch and progression of our Strategic Plan, the establishment of new centres such as the Pacific Security College, the Energy Transitions Hub and the Institute for Infrastructure in Society, and the expansion of our excellent programs such as executive education and internships and placements.
A personal highlight has been managing the school during an important era of growth and development: over the past 16 months our capacity has increased significantly, our research income has skyrocketed in 2019, and we’ve reached a total monthly audience of one million people across all our channels. We have a brilliant group of academic and professional staff at Crawford and they have worked very hard to achieve this success.
Can you tell us about a feel-good dish that you or someone in your family makes in stressful times?
One positive aspect of the lockdown period has been finding the time to do some serious cooking. I live with two PhD students from RegNet and together we’ve been making everything from scratch, from pizza dough to curry pastes, as well as refining the best method for the perfect scrambled eggs!
If you could go back and choose a different career path, what would it be?
A music producer. In my 20s I was a DJ at clubs and events around Canberra, and I still love producing music in my spare time. I can absolutely see myself discovering new talent, making gold records and attending glamorous Hollywood parties.
Can you give us your top three tips about how to stay positive during the COVID lockdown?
Good food, exercise and sunshine are all essential, but I think the single most important tip is to try and stay focused on the benefits and opportunities that change can bring. This year has been very challenging for everyone, but in many cases, it has forced us to make long-overdue changes to our lives, both at work and home. For me that has meant finding the time to plan and look after my health and fitness – both physical and mental. I hope we can look back on 2020 as the year that forced us all to change for the better – at the individual, organisational and societal levels. As a leading public policy school, we are committed to improving outcomes across these areas, and when I look at the impact of our research and teaching, I feel very fortunate and proud to be working at Crawford School during the ongoing crises of 2020.