Rio Davis

Because your words and actions have weight, especially when you have the privilege to go to the ANU.

Many students who come to ANU are driven by a desire to address vital issues and change something about our world for the better. For Rio, who grew up in rural Victoria, the issues are those most vital to the lives of regional Australians, and how we engage with the people in those areas.

“I focused on these issues because I felt political engagement, education, and discussion are all lacking in regional areas. I believe that with more awareness and research, people's lives can be improved.”

At ANU Rio was able to pursue a love of investigating policy and political philosophy. Completing the Bachelor of Politics, Philosophy and Economics, they found the diverse interdisciplinary approach offered by the program highly satisfying, and valued the opportunities it offered to undertake original research.

Visiting Canberra for ANU Open Day offered Rio their first glimpse of life in the bush capital. Shy and from a relatively quiet home town, they were pleased to find people in a similar situation, from diverse backgrounds, exploring the unknown. It helped make clear they had made the right decision.

“Looking back, Canberra was a great choice, because most people at ANU have also moved from interstate; there was a sense that I was in the same boat as everyone else, which made me more comfortable. It was all overwhelming and I wasn't as social as I had wanted or expected, but I did find some really great people and I've built a really nice home in Canberra.”

Also confirming their choice of ANU was the “passionate, charismatic” academics they encountered during their studies, who were wonderful guides through the experience. In particular Rio recalls Dr Jill Sheppard and Will Bosworth, from the School of Politics and International Relations. “They have both played a really large role in my undergraduate career, giving me lots of accessible advice, passion, and generally being great mentors.”

Studying at ANU, Rio saw the changes as they developed and grew. But also witnessed the changes in the wider world that emphasised the importance of academic rigour and the contributions to public debate from academia.

“The changes in media, of how information flows, and in the breakdown of barriers to entry to media are particularly fascinating to me. The role of academia in this shift is particularly important, ensuring that rigorously investigated knowledge is circulated, in a way that is both accurate and accessible to the public.”

Since graduating, Rio has joined the ABC as a journalist, working on Gunaikurnai country in the Gippsland region.

For the students of today and tomorrow, Rio’s advice is to conquer your shyness, to be considered and ambitious, and to take the opportunities to discover and to say new things.

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Updated:  13 January 2023/Responsible Officer:  CASS Marketing & Communications/Page Contact:  CASS Marketing & Communications