From Hong Kong to Canberra: Joyce’s journey of empowerment through education and public service

07 December 2023

Joyce Yi Pan grew up in the hustle and bustle of Hong Kong, a city that blends Eastern and Western traditions. It wasn’t until COVID-19 struck that she started to gain experience in the public sector.

She has always desired to further her education, saying it contributes greatly to both personal and professional growth, providing valuable global exposure while also enhancing language proficiency.

Unfortunately, the desire to further her education came to a halt when borders closed, so Joyce began working in the public sector in Hong Kong and enjoyed the stability that gave. However, as the world began to open again, she started contemplating the idea of furthering her education in early 2022. Deciding to build on skills she already gained, she wanted to focus on courses related to public policy and administration.

She already had an idea about the Australian National University after interning in Sydney and travelling to Canberra, and she saw what the campus had to offer. “The serene and tranquil environment immediately captured my attention, standing in stark contrast to the bustling city where she lived,” she said. Because of this ANU and Crawford became her top choice.

She left her job, family and friends behind to gain more knowledge, saying “Personally, it has been the most significant year and a half of my life thus far.” Joyce elaborated, saying the classes are well-designed, and the materials foster a learning environment focused on communication and reflection. It helps, she says, that the peers at Crawford are also outstanding, with many of them having served in the public sector in various parts of the world. Learning a great deal from the course, but also from her fellow classmates. “I genuinely hope that the connections I have forged here will endure for a lifetime,” she says.

Reflecting on how her experience in local policy issues shaped her perspective during her Master of Public Administration degree, Joyce said that Climate change is a big issue that nations need to tackle together. “Hong Kong has experienced rising temperatures, sea-level increases, and more frequent heavy rainfall than in the past. Like many governments worldwide, the city has implemented a variety of policies to combat climate change, such as drafting comprehensive Climate Action Plans,” she said. Also, she noted that through her studies, it became clear that climate change is not a local issue but a global one, necessitating urgent action. This is underscored by the inclusion of climate action as one of the Sustainable Development Goals.

“The impacts of a warming climate are not felt equitably across the globe. Therefore, it is crucial to expand global cooperation on climate change, with a particular focus on supporting vulnerable communities,” she said.

For future Crawford students, she says, “Pursuing a Master of Public Administration at Crawford will definitely be one of the best choices you have ever made in your life. With a blend of theoretical and practical applications and a diverse array of elective courses centred on policy and governance issues, it will broaden your perspectives, contribute to your overall self-improvement, and equip you with the necessary skills and knowledge for your career advancement or transition.”

As for what’s next, Joyce says, “I am eager to embark on a career in policy research and advocacy fields in order to bring the valuable knowledge I learnt at Crawford into practice.”

Congratulations on graduating, Joyce! We can’t wait to see the changes you make in the world.

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Updated:  26 April 2024/Responsible Officer:  Crawford Engagement/Page Contact:  CAP Web Team