Supervisor: Dr Boyd Hunter, Centre for Aboriginal Economic Policy and Research, College of Arts and Social Sciences
Siddharth joined the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet in 2015 to work on Indigenous economic development, in particular around promoting Indigenous entrepreneurship. He has worked on the upcoming Indigenous Grants Policy, the Indigenous Business Sector Strategy, reforms to remote employment service delivery and developing the first Indigenous business fact sheet. Prior to joining PM&C, Siddharth worked as an economist across a number of government departments including at the Treasury, the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade and at the Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations.
Siddharth’s PhD is on understanding the pathways and barriers to Indigenous Australians starting a business. The rate of Indigenous business ownership is currently 3% (of the working age population) compared to 10% for non-Indigenous Australians. The research will take a mixed-methods approach to investigate factors that are limiting opportunities for potential Indigenous entrepreneurs to get into business, including measuring the impact of racial bias on economic freedoms using quantitative techniques.
Supervisor: Dr Daniel Connell, Crawford School of Public Policy
Penny joined the Australian Public Service in 2010 to work at the Murray-Darling Basin Authority on the Murray-Darling Basin Plan, one of the most significant Australian government interventions in water policy since federation. The experience has given her a passion for solving national scale natural resource management problems, combined with an understanding of the challenges of ensuring appropriate regional and state engagement and ownership of policy solutions.
Penny’s PhD examines approaches to solving trans-boundary natural resource management problems in Australia and internationally, to identify when the federal government should intervene and how best to do so. Penny will use her experience working on the Murray-Darling Basin Plan as an initial example to learn from and compare it to experiences with alternative approaches used in Australia and other countries. Her study will investigate and analyse these examples to determine the best approaches for future federal government interventions.
Supervisor: Professor Roger Bradbury, National Security College, Crawford School of Public Policy
Mentor: Mr Alastair MacGibbon, Special Advisor to the Prime Minister on Cyber Security, Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet
Melanie joined the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet in 2015 after eight years in the Department of Defence working across policy, analysis, and capability portfolios. Melanie’s Defence experience contributed to her passion for protecting Australia’s strategic interests from non-traditional security threats. Melanie’s most recent roles have focused on national security through Crisis Management, and then in the Office of the Cyber Security Adviser.
Melanie’s doctoral research will use a mixed methods approach to examine principles of deterrence in cyber space. Her study will investigate the methods and relative success of key allies including the United State and the United Kingdom; identify principles that may be appropriate for the Australian strategic context; and contribute towards a whole of economy cyber deterrence strategy for Australia.