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August 2016

Matt Coulton

Hawker Scholar: 2009 - 2010

I was fortunate to receive the Hawker Scholarship from 2009 to 2010 and had a wonderful time living at Burgmann College and studying at ANU. I completed a Bachelor of Science (Water Science, Water Resource Management and Interdisciplinary Studies) and Bachelor of Arts (International Relations and Political Science).

During this time I was lucky enough to live and study with several other Hawker Scholars who always stood out in their studies, their commitment to community service, on the sporting field and on various campus committees due to their willingness to give up time for others and give everything 110%. Several of these scholars remain good friends today.

My professional life has been varied and exciting. I began as a scientist and policy officer in the Commonwealth Department of Agriculture. I spent some time working for Australia’s plant science industry, moved to Sydney to work as a water policy adviser to a NSW Government Minister and I am now back in Canberra working as Senior Adviser to the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources he Hon. Barnaby Joyce.

In this role I’m responsible for water policy and water infrastructure programs (and generally trying to answer any other questions the Deputy Prime Minister might have!). There’s no such thing as a “regular day”, but tasks include briefing the Deputy Prime Minister and other government spokespeople on legislation, key issues or in preparing for media events, working with the Department of Agriculture and Water Resources to develop and deliver policy and programs, speaking to industry and the public about their concerns and aspirations, managing intergovernmental relations and dealing with excessive volumes of paperwork.

The Hawker Scholar family seems to have spread far and wide. I bump into other scholars every other week through work or social interactions. All of them are working hard and being successful in their various fields. I’m very grateful for the support of the Trustees and the Hawker Community for assisting me to get where I am today.