Alex Perlinski

Focused on creating a just future

22 December 2022

Carrying a deep sense of responsibility towards the land, Crawford School graduate Alex Perlinski is determined to make a difference in perhaps the biggest public policy challenge of his time, climate change.

Like so many younger Australians, Alex Perlinski is deeply concerned about the impact of global climate change on the future of our planet.

And, like so many of his peers, he is taking that future into his own hands by building the skills and knowledge he needs to make a difference.

Alex grew up in Brisbane, where he worked on agriculture policy and disaster risk reduction for two years in the state government. Working at the coalface of land management, Alex got first-hand insight into human relationships with the natural environment.

For him, these relationships aren’t only the cause of the climate crisis, but they also show us some of the solutions.

“I find the relationships we have to land both fascinating and challenging. I look to these and see not only the destructive relationships that fuel climate change, but also the positive and caring relationships that should inspire different and new ways of solving this crisis,” he said.

In particular, Alex is motivated by the tireless advocacy, strength and generosity of First Nations peoples, and their ongoing engagement with national and international governance systems in the pursuit of environmental justice.

“Australians have a responsibility to respect, engage and act alongside First Nations people to create a just future for our world and country,” he said.

To take the next step in his career, Alex left the ‘sunshine state’ for the nation’s capital – a move that allowed him to extend his professional and academic skills.

Alex moved to Canberra to enrol in the Master of Public Policy at Crawford School of Public Policy at The Australian National University (ANU).

“The course offerings for the Master of Public Policy are peerless. I had the freedom to craft a degree that aligned with my passions and the fundamentals of good, modern policy-making,” he said.

The flexibility of the degree and a mixture of semester-long and intensive courses allowed him to manage his study and workload so that he has been able to succeed in both. In fact, he won this year’s Master of Public Policy Prize, awarded to the student who completes and achieves the best overall aggregate results in his program.

He also felt fortunate to have his previous study recognised as course credit.

“When I commenced, I was able to dive straight into the subject matter that makes me tick, rather than repeat material I’ve already come across,” he said.

The disruptions of the pandemic made the beginning of Alex’s study journey challenging. However, he valued the resourcefulness and positive attitude of his lecturers.

“I always found the staff at Crawford to be understanding and accommodating. The classes remained engaging, and I was fortunate enough to benefit from the creativity and spirit of my lecturers to learn in new, innovative ways,” he said.

Having graduated this month, Alex is looking forward to some time to rest and recharge with family after two years of full-time work and study, before continuing to apply the policymaking skills he developed at Crawford.

“I currently have an exciting opportunity at the nexus of agricultural and First Nations policy at the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry that will keep me busy well into 2023,” he said.

Alex knows that the road ahead for policymakers in Australia is not an easy one. Managing an uncertain, complex future requires resilience and resourcefulness, but he is up for the challenge.

“Amongst it all, we can’t forget to focus on creating a future where the way we relate to this country is consistent with a vision of health, diversity and justice for the human and ecological communities which make up Australia.

“This is a crucial decade in both my life and for international action on climate change, so I have my eyes set squarely on pursuing a life and career consistent with this vision.”

ANU Crawford School of Public Policy offers an extensive range of specialised Master and Graduate Certificate programs.

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Updated:  29 May 2023/Responsible Officer:  Crawford Engagement/Page Contact:  CAP Web Team