Two alumni of The Australian National University (ANU) who graduated in December 2015 with the university’s first Bachelor of Criminology degree have landed jobs with ACT Corrective Services.
Erin Harriott and Matthew Musgrave began working in early 2016 in a statistics support role and prisoner reintegration program respectively.
Matthew and his manager, Ben Naughton, were recently invited by his former lecturer, Dr Emmeline Taylor, to deliver a talk about Corrective Service’s Throughcare reintegration initiative to current criminology students.
“I’ve always enjoyed presenting and talking in front of groups, the only difference this time was that I was talking about a topic that I had been living for the four months prior,” Matthew says of his and Ben’s presentation.
“Coming from being a student and learning about Throughcare only nine months before, I was able to put into the presentation information that I would have loved to have learned.
“Doing an exercise that got the mind critically engaged to an offender’s risk factors is something I would have revelled in when I was a student, because it’s not something that you normally do, and yet it’s so practical.”
Former classmate, Erin, also works at ACT Corrective Services as a data support officer in the compliance, evaluation and statistics team. Her role involves qualitative and quantitative analysis of administrative data about detainees.
“I was somewhat surprised by how much I actually consider the theoretical frameworks when analysing the data,” Erin explains.
“I was doing some qualitative research into a certain data muster when I found myself applying the social control and routine activity theory covered in Emmeline’s 'The Criminological Imagination' course.
“Having studied them extensively throughout the degree, I left uni assuming it was knowledge I had but wouldn’t likely call upon – little did I know.”
Erin enrolled in an ANU Bachelor of Arts degree, but switched to criminology when it was offered. She completed a minor in international relations as she desires to ultimately move into border security or counter-terrorism-related roles.
“With a solid understanding of sociological theories, I found the step across to criminology the perfect match,” she says.
“It allowed me to develop academically my curiosity and interest for crime.”
Matt started studying psychology and criminology, but then dropped psychology to concentrate solely on a Bachelor of Criminology.
“While the coursework was not tailored to a correctional approach specifically, understanding the broader contexts of elements including drugs, youth and adolescent crime, crime control, psychology and crime, organised crime and addiction has been immensely useful and complimentary,” he says.
Dr Taylor says she always knew the university’s first cohort of four Bachelor of Criminology graduates would impress her.
“I have a great working relationship with ACT Corrective Services, so to see our star students begin their careers there was a really proud moment for me,” she says.
“When I set up the Bachelor of Criminology at ANU, I was committed to ensuring our students would learn a range of transferable skills that would make them appealing to employers.
“These appointments really highlight the importance of that in a competitive job market.”
Discover more about where an ANU degree can take you at ANU Open Day on 27 August.