Meet our students
Associate Professor Roberta Ryan: One of the really great things about our graduate programs, apart from the fact there designed strongly in consultation with the local government sector, they’re delivered by senior local government professionals, people who've been there, know that and we’re very strongly underpinned by the latest thinking in all of these areas.
Todd Hopwood, Master of Local Government student: I found the Masters a great course. It doesn't feel like an undergraduate degree. I’ve done undergraduate degree’s before, I feel like I’m part of the conversation with the teachers, talking about problems and solutions and with our fellow students, rather than just sitting there and being lectured to an and taking down notes and passing an exam.
Bligh Grant, Senior Lecturer: We are able to provide a sectoral overview of where local government fits in as a part of Australia’s economy and that's a very very important thing. So we tool up people to think of local government from a broader perspective and we give them the technical skills to implement processes by which they can improve local government.
Associate Professor Roberta Ryan: One of the things that's very distinctive about the offer here at the Centre is that it is a tailored programme for local government professionals and we really understand the particular challenges that local government professionals face.
Tod Hopwood, Master of Local Government student: The key advantages I’ve brought back to work from doing the course is different ways of looking at issues that we all face in local government. Through the course we often have sessions where we work together in small groups of 10 or 12 people in the course and we all work in local government so we talk about different ways of solving the same problems we have, so I take those attitudes and those approaches back to work, which has been really beneficial.
Bligh Grant, Senior Lecturer: We are the only place in Australia that provides that specific focus, that specific lens, through which to examine the polity of Australia, the economy of Australia, the gender of Australia. Everything is through local government; that’s our focus.
Associate Professor Roberta Ryan: There's a major national debate on about what share of tax revenues all levels of government should get, and local government really has to position itself into that debate. This is a time where local government, there’s huge opportunities for local government to step up and be really well prepared to speak for themselves, and to really have clear views about the kinds of role that local government can play in our federation, and in the leadership of our country.
We’ve pulled together a few of our favourite student profiles to give you a taste for why people choose to study at UTS and what our students have gained from their studies. Where will UTS lead you?
Maraika Ropte, Master of Applied Policy student and IPPG Postgraduate Scholarship Recipient
"I chose to study this course at UTS for several reasons: The particular offering of core and elective units appeared to me to be the most contemporary and applicable out of all the different Universities’ offerings. The course contents combines theory and practice, enabling me to directly apply the learnings to my work.
The way this course is delivered in block mode as well as by distance allows me to keep working full-time so I can continue to pursue my career goals while studying and directly apply learned content to my work. UTS seems to be known for having flexible course schedules and a student cohort that is also in the workforce at the same time. UTS is also ideally positioned and close to where I live and work."
Read more about Maraika and her journey.
David Fahey OAM, Master of Local Government student and IPPG postgraduate Scholarship Recipient
"When local government works well, you can achieve great things. It’s not just ‘I want a new pool’ or ‘I want a new building or piece of infrastructure’; it’s about strategic thinking and the bigger picture. I want to be part of that strategic process but I want to be informed of the best way to get there. The more I have learnt the better I have become in my work. You can actually achieve something for the community because you know the procedures, policies and the background. You need to have in-depth knowledge of how to progress forward for the benefit of the whole community. I believe that with experience and sound knowledge of local government that many great things can be achieved.
I want to be a driver of policy, procedures and good governance. I want to be hands on as a Councillor, and as one of the governing body of my Council, I want to be involved in the shaping of the future of my community in an effective manner. To me the onus is on the elected members to go and get educated so you can get things done and serve the people who elected you better. Education for elected members should be compulsory.”
Read more about David and his journey.
Paul Tracey, Curator Botanic Garden, Wollongong City Council - Master of Local Government and Graduate Diploma in Local Government Management
"My experience through the Masters Program has been really rewarding as it provided an opportunity for me to expand my learning of all things Local Government. Learning alongside fellow students that come from all levels of Local Government, and learning from expert lecturers and guest speakers all from the Local Government sector made this a worthwhile experience.
I appreciated that the workload in this program was challenging however very achievable. I found the program very respectful to the fact that we are all working full time and lead busy lives.
I would certainly recommend the Masters in Local Government program for professionals seeking a well-rounded qualification."
Grantley Ingram, Director of Regulatory Services, Bombala Council - Master of Local Government and Graduate Certificate in Development Assessment
"The great strength of all of the programs was in their practical application back at the workplace. That coupled with the inspiration of many of the speakers and fellow students (including a few beers during) made the experience very rewarding and I would recommend these courses to any practitioner in Local Government.”
Jenny Campbell, Narrabri Shire Council - Graduate Certificate in Local Government Leadership
"In terms of self-discovery there have been great opportunities, both from inward contemplation and also through interaction with the other participants in the course. In terms of networking I have connected with a number of people who have been a pleasure to learn with and who will be of benefit to my future journey in local government.
The calibre of the presenters and guest speakers has been extremely high, many giving great insight into the local government environment and the challenges we face, often on a daily basis. The course load has been more than manageable given that the local government workload can often be quite demanding.
The journey I have taken while studying this Certificate has been a fruitful and rewarding experience, which I could recommend to anyone considering undertaking study to further their career in local government.”
Daniel Denford, City of Sydney - Graduate Certificate in Local Government Leadership
"My experience so far with the course has been fantastic. The course has been very specific to the local government environment and the teaching has been a great mix of theory and first-hand knowledge from leaders within local government.
The course has given me knowledge and tools that I have brought back to workplace and directly applied. I have used the course as a cornerstone of my professional development and I hope to continue to develop my skills as I continue my studies."
Tomasso Briscese, Executive Manager/Internal Ombudsman, Burwood Council - Master of Local Government
"Having started as a Graduate Diploma student, I found the progression to the Master program as a natural step in the process, and a great opportunity to further expand my research skills and my knowledge of Local Government systems both in Australia and overseas. The program offers good flexibility and a vast range of subjects to choose from, but the main value of the courses comes from hearing from expert speakers and networking with your fellow classmates who could be directors, general managers or councillors. The Master has certainly sharpened my focus on Local Government and added further appreciation on how important the sector is in the delivery of essential services to the community.”
Want to see what our Master of Local Government students have worked on for their final dissertations? For a selection of research projects please see the master's dissertations page.