“That was the best part of the course – the fact that I could complete it from anywhere in the world,” she says.
Holly grew up in Canberra, but her part of the world now is Indonesia, where she works as the Senior Communications Consultant to the Yayasan Mudra Swari Saraswati, the not-for-profit foundation that delivers the Ubud Writers & Readers Festival and the Ubud Food Festival.
She started working there after serving as an Australian Youth Ambassador for Development – a government-funded initiative that supports young Australians to live and work in developing countries. She spent 12 months in Ghana, West Africa, working for a child and maternal health non-government organisation.
“In these jobs, my focus has mainly been on advocacy and communications, which often comes at the end of the project lifecycle,” Holly says.
“I wanted the knowledge and skills to look at development from a whole-of-program perspective, which is what led me to undertake my MAAPD.”
What she’s most enjoyed about MAAPD are the courses where lecturers went the extra mile to accommodate online students. She describes an intensive summer unit she did with MAAPD co-ordinator Dr Patrick Kilby, who set up Adobe Connect to enable students to call in for the weekly tutorials.
“It bought the component you do miss when learning online – student interaction – back into the unit.”
Doing the Masters program has also proven beneficial for Holly in her work.
“The MAAPD has definitely helped me when working in a cross-cultural context and the sensitivities of helping to deliver initiatives to support people and communities that are not your own,” Holly says.
Instead of crossing the stage to collect her testamur, Holly will be in Bali celebrating with a glass of champagne. After graduation, she intends to go to Europe and work on some more arts and cultural events, but says she may be back to do her PhD.
“I’m so proud to be graduating from a university with the reputation that ANU has!”
You can find Holly on Instagram @horriesan
. She warns that the images may evoke serious island life envy.