Ms Philippa Venning
Hawker Scholar: 1993-1996
The Hawker Scholarship gave me the opportunity to study at the Australian National University in Canberra and I had four fun and fruitful years at Burgmann College. Many of the friends I made are still my dearest friends today. I took a year off mid-university to backpack from Cape Town to Istanbul, and returned to Canberra to finish my studies.
I spent four formative years working as a corporate lawyer for Allens - half in Sydney and half in Singapore. Searching for a more meaningful career, I entered the field of international development with four fascinating years in Jakarta and across Indonesia working for several NGOs, the United Nations Development Program (on elections) and the World Bank (on community governance).
I completed my Masters in Law at Melbourne University over several years. In 1997 I joined then AusAID working on the Indonesia and Timor-Leste aid programs. After our first child, I followed my partner on his posting to Honiara, Solomon Islands. I worked for AusAID and the World Bank (Solomon Islands) on issues of community governance and family violence prevention. Returning to DFAT in Canberra, I spent a few years on the Indonesia desk and now (2018), following our second child, we are posted to Dili, Timor-Leste. I am Australia's Deputy Ambassador.
I don't think my career would have unfolded as it has without the fabulous opportunity provided to me through the Hawker Scholarship. I am very grateful.