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Aqsa Ali: adding value to public administration in Pakistan

Posted: 10 June 2019

Pakistan, Disability, Experience, Impact,

Aqsa Ali is an Australia Awards alumna who graduated with a Master of Public Administration from the University of Melbourne in 2017. She was born with congenital deformity of her upper limbs, but this did not limit her opportunity to study in Australia.

“I always had a dream to study overseas,” Ali said. She decided to pursue an Australia Awards Scholarship after one of her colleagues attended an information session in Lahore and brought her a flyer and encouraged her to apply. “I applied and was successful in receiving the Scholarship due to my skills and employment background,” Ali said.

Ali intends to use the knowledge she has gained through her Australia Awards Scholarship to add value to the Pakistan Government through her work as a Deputy Director at the Office of the Auditor General of Pakistan.

“I’ve been trusted with many opportunities and responsibilities by my senior colleagues. My Master of Public Administration degree from the University of Melbourne and the knowledge and skills I’ve gained through my time in Australia will contribute positively to my career and to the Pakistan government,” she said.

“The course curriculum included everything I was looking for, such as finance, governance structure and development.” Her experience also means that she can now compare how things are done in Pakistan in relation to other countries. “I can share my knowledge with the Pakistan government and the newcomers to my department. I can talk to them about best practices and invest my time and theirs in developing new ideas.”

Ali also reflected on the other benefits of her Australia Awards Scholarship. “My experience in Australia has transformed me,” she said. “I was independent in Pakistan, however, I still had to receive assistance from others for certain activities.” In comparison, she said, in Australia she could “manage anything and everything by being proactive”. In 2016, while in Australia, Ali even managed to contend with a heart surgery on her own.

“Through my Australia Awards experience, I have also learned to build a career, to build relationships in a professional context and to network effectively,” she said.

“The University of Melbourne is really multicultural and has added value to my Scholarship experience.” On a daily basis, she interacted with “a global network of professionals”, including professors and colleagues “from around the world—Sweden, Pakistan, Syria, the UK and the US, to name a few countries”.

“Australia Awards really gives you an opportunity to learn from others in a global environment, which provides many dimensions to your Australian experience,” Ali concluded.

Aqsa Ali, Australia Awards alumna from Pakistan