2012 Scholars

Suzanne Akila_D0A7982

Suzanne Akila

Graduated 2016

Supervisor: Professor Hilary Charlesworth, Regulatory Institutions Network, College of Arts & Social Sciences

Mentor: Bill Campbell QC, Attorney General’s Department

Suzanne joined the Office of International Law at the Attorney-General’s Department in 2010. She worked in the International Human Rights and International Security Law Sections. In that time Suzanne prepared legal advice on domestic legal proceedings relating to Australia’s international obligations and matters of international law. She has advised on international refugee law, international human rights, international criminal law, international humanitarian law, constitutional law and border protection.

Suzanne’s research examines how and why States intervene to protect their citizens abroad. Informed by her experience as a legal adviser to government, she has undertaken an empirical investigation of three national case studies of State protection.  This includes an in-depth study of Australia’s consular and protection framework. Her work develops recommendations for government on the protection of Australian nationals abroad based on the comparative case studies in her research.

Suzanne is now an Assistant Director, International Legal Branch at the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.Suzanne is also a Visitor at the School of Regulation and Global Governance (RegNet), ANU College of Asia & the Pacific.


Jennifer Chang

Supervisor: Dr Jane Golley, China in the World, ANU College of Asia & the Pacific

Mentor: Dr David Gruen, Prime Minister & Cabinet

Since starting as a graduate at the Treasury in 2004, Jennifer’s work experience has covered a wide range of policy areas including: the rigorous analysis of Asian economies, a deep understanding of the Australian economy and an appreciation of the importance of effective international economic engagement.

Jennifer commenced her Sir Roland Wilson Foundation PhD Scholarship in 2012 and is currently examining the dynamics of the Chinese labour market and linking her findings to an analysis of  China’s broader economic growth prospects.  A deeper understanding of the Chinese economy is of critical policy relevance, with China’s overall growth trajectory of particular importance to Australia’s prosperity.



Angelia Grant

Graduated 2015

Supervisor: Professor Warwick McKibbin, Crawford School of Public Policy, ANU College of Asia & the Pacific

Mentor: Dr David Gruen, Prime Minister & Cabinet

Angelia has been employed by the Treasury since 1999. In that time she has gained broad experience in policy development, having worked in the Macroeconomic, Revenue and Fiscal Groups in Treasury and as an economics adviser in the Prime Minister’s Office and Chief of Staff to the Parliamentary Secretary to the Treasurer. Angelia has seen first-hand the relevance of macroeconomic modelling in the public policy process and the difficulty in dealing with model uncertainty.

Angelia is undertaking research on business cycles and economic fluctuations, with a particular focus on comparing conclusions based on different economic models. She is examining the role of particular structural shocks during the 2001 US slowdown and Great Recession, and whether the assumption of rational expectations or adaptive learning in a large macroeconomic model for the US economy provides a better model fit. Her thesis also proposes a new econometric method for computing a model selection criterion that is rarely used in applied work given its computational burden.

Angelia Grant is now a Principal Advisor in the Macroeconomic Conditions Division, The Treasury. She also works as a Research Assistant at the ANU College of Business and Economics.


Neal Hughes

Graduated 2015

Supervisor: Professor Quentin Grafton, Crawford School of Public Policy, ANU College of Asia & the Pacific

Mentor: Peter Gooday, Australian Bureau of Agricultural & Resource Economics and Sciences

Since joining ABARES in 2006, Neal has completed extensive research on a range of water and agricultural productivity issues, including: urban water pricing and investment, reservoir management, water property rights reform and climate adjusted productivity measures. In 2010 Neal took a lead role in ABARES analysis of the Murray-Darling Basin plan.

In 2011 Neal was awarded a Sir Roland Wilson Foundation Scholarship for PhD study at the Australian National University. Neal’s PhD thesis focuses on the design of water property rights in rivers with large reservoirs. Neal’s research involves the development of computational models of regulated river systems with large numbers of `artificially intelligent’ agents. For more information on Neal’s PhD and progress, please see nealhughes.net

Neal Hughes is now the Director, Water and Climate at the Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics and Sciences (ABARES). He is also a Visiting Fellow at the Crawford School of Public Policy, ANU College of Asia and the Pacific.



Nerida Hunter

Graduated 2017

Supervisor: Professor James Raymer, Australian Demographic & Social Research Institute, College of Arts & Social Sciences

Mentor: Rebecca Cross, PSM, Prime Minister& Cabinet

Nerida has been working in the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet (PM&C) since 2006 and has worked on a wide range of social policy issues. She was the Departmental Liaison Officer in the Office of the Cabinet Secretary in 2008 and 2009.

In 2010 she began her training in demography at the University of California (Berkeley) and subsequently joined ADSRI’s PhD program.  Nerida is undertaking applied demographic research of Australia’s aged and ageing population. She is examining the size, structure and characteristics of the aged population across 328 regions of Australia; healthy life and working life expectancies; lifespan and life course disparity; and projections of growth and settlement of the aged population through to 2031. She is also a student affiliate of the Centre of Excellence in Population Ageing Research.

Nerida is now the Branch Manager of the NDIS Financial Policy & Performance at the Department of Social Services.

Updated:  21 March 2018/ Responsible Officer:  Foundation Director/ Page Contact:  Sir Roland Wilson Foundation