Alumni Profiles

CPACS provides students from a wide variety of disciplinary and professional backgrounds with the opportunity to pursue a new career path in peace and conflict studies or to enhance skills they have developed in the field with a solid theoretical grounding. Graduates go on to enjoy challenging and rewarding careers with the United Nations, non-government organisations, universities, media organisations, and government departments and agencies. Below are profiles highlighting some of our alumni and their post-graduation career paths.

KEVIN CHANG

MASTER OF ARTS IN PEACE AND CONFLICT STUDIES (2003)

“My master’s degree in Peace and Conflict Studies kick-started an international career in peacebuilding, development and human rights with the United Nations. A decade later, I am pleased to return to CPACS as a Visiting Scholar, sharing my experience with the next generation of peacebuilders.”

KEVIN

Kevin’s first role after completing his MA in 2003 was to support the Fijian Government’s national reconciliation efforts after the coup d’état of 2000. From 2006 to 2012 Kevin worked for various parts of the United Nations, supporting peaceful transition in post-conflict states: as Chief Technical Advisor for security sector reform with the UN peacekeeping mission in Timor-Leste (UNMIT); as Peacebuilding and Conflict Transformation Specialist with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in Nepal; and as UNDP’s global knowledge management facilitator in crisis prevention and recovery based in Geneva. He started his UN career with the UN High Commissioner for Refugees in Pakistan. Kevin has also worked for the Australian Government in policy, advisory and statutory roles, including work with the Office of Indigenous Policy Coordination and the Australian Human Rights Commission. Kevin is currently Senior Legal Officer in human rights policy at the Attorney-General’s Department based in Canberra.

In addition to his MA, Kevin holds degrees in law, legal practice and science (JD, GradDipIntLaw Sydney; GradDipLegPrac ANU; BSc Monash). He is an experienced practitioner and trainer on the application of conflict-sensitive approaches in development, humanitarian and peacebuilding interventions, and coordinates the CPACS unit Conflict-Sensitive Development Practice, a unit designed to develop essential skills for students wishing to engage in field-based work. Kevin is a Visiting Scholar at CPACS and a registered Australian Government deployable expert on post-conflict stabilisation and the rule of law.


LISA TOWNSHEND

MASTER OF PEACE AND CONFLICT STUDIES (2014)

“The study of Peace and Conflict Studies helped define me as a person as it assisted me in articulating how I can positively contribute to the world around me. My studies have enabled me to perceive and understand the world through a different lens; a lens which identifies both justice and injustice and how such challenges may be overcome.”

LISA TOWNSHEND

Before Lisa commenced her postgraduate studies she worked as an English Teacher in Cambodia and Spain. Lisa was highly active in the CPACS community during her time as a student, serving as Student Representative on the CPACS Council and volunteering with the University’s student-run Global Social Justice Network. Following her graduation, Lisa started working in international development as an International Programs Intern with UNICEF Australia. Since completion of her internship, Lisa has worked for UNICEF as an International Programs Officer, supporting the management of international development programs in the Asia-Pacific region, South Asia and Africa. Lisa is also co-founder and Communications Manager of an online initiative called DevQuest. This website is targeted at graduates and/or people looking to move into peacebuilding, development and human rights careers from another profession.


GODWIN YIDANA

MASTER OF PEACE AND CONFLICT STUDIES (2014)

"The Master of Peace and Conflict Studies provides a cosmopolitan environment for excellent learning, sharing and networking with colleagues from across the world. The emphasis on peace with justice is what drew me to the course.”

GODWIN YIDANA

Godwin is currently working on expanding the program areas of G-lish Foundation, a social enterprise based in Ghana, West Africa, which he co-founded. G-lish Foundation works with rural women and youth to generate income from recycled fiber art and baskets, as well as endeavouring to address gender-based violence in Ghana. Godwin also works with Village Space, a program of Catholic Mission, which uses theatre to educate high school students around Australia on social justice and human rights issues such as racism, Indigenous rights and the rights of refugees and asylum seekers. In the future, Godwin aspires to use the knowledge acquired from his Master of Peace and Conflict Studies degree to further the work of G-lish Foundation, and to work as an independent consultant to help address the many conflict and peacebuilding challenges currently facing the African continent.


PRIMY CANE

MASTER OF PEACE AND CONFLICT STUDIES (2014)

“I am positive that what I learned about the practice of conflict-resolving media, and about the causes of conflict and the healing of trauma, can be applied in the field to result in more responsible journalism.”

PRIMY CANE

Prior to commencing her Master of Peace and Conflict Studies, Primy worked as a news anchor and reporter for ABS-CBN, the leading news broadcaster in The Philippines. Primy became a journalist because she wished to make a difference in her community, her country and the wider world, but after working in the field believed that the potential of journalism to contribute to the resolution of conflict was not being fully realised. ‘I studied this degree in the hopes that I would return to my country a more well rounded journalist’, Primy said. ‘I do not want to be just another storyteller, I want my storytelling to bring about understanding to contribute to the peace process in The Philippines, and most of all, to bring hope. After completing my degree, I am confident that I now possess the knowledge to help me achieve this goal.’


MUJIBUR RAHMAN ABID

MASTER OF PEACE AND CONFLICT STUDIES (2015)

"Notions of peace and conflict are extremely important in Afghanistan, a country plagued by civil war and violence since at least 1975. I am hoping that I will become an expert practitioner and help my country in its quest to achieve peace and justice."

MUJIBUR RAHMAN ABID

Mujibur was sponsored by the Sydney Peace Foundation to undertake his Masters in Peace and Conflict Studies. He is currently working as a sessional academic/tutor for the Department of Sociology and Social Policy at the University of Sydney. He has previously worked as a researcher for various Afghan research institutes. With a passion for social justice and peace with justice, Mujibur is hoping to work with Afghans in promoting peace, transitional justice and nonviolence in Afghanistan. He is also planning to undertake further research work, potentially a PhD program, which builds upon his Masters of Peace and Conflict Studies dissertation ‘The Afghan Jihad: Identity, Power and Legitimacy’.