Alan Murphy

Portrait of Alan Murphy Master of Arts (International Relations) 2008

I chose Deakin because...
I liked the look of the units associated with its International Relations courses, and there was flexibility in adapting a programme into a format that suited me.

After leaving uni...
I volunteered for Australian Volunteers International in northern Thailand for a year where I worked for a human rights advocacy group, defending the rights of migrant workers around the Mekong region. I worked for an umbrella organisation with about 15 members. In the process, I learned a lot about the issues and exploitation of migrant workers and was especially moved by the horror of two young Burmese girls drowning in a lake in Phuket after being chased by the police.

At uni I was inspired by...
Lynne Alice. She was Director of the international relations programme, was a passionate defender of human rights, an inspiring individual and possessed a ferocious intellect. Sadly, Lynne passed away in late 2008.

I am currently...
Working for Friends 4 Life - an organisation I founded in 2012. Friends 4 Life is basically a start-up NGO: a non-profit organisation that establishes and funds housing, education and basic welfare projects in Sri Lanka and Southern Africa.

Today, I am motivated by... 
The children in the orphanage in Sri Lanka that we supply food to and the kids who now have a classroom in northern Namibia to commence their schooling. I have enjoyed the process of starting an organisation, but my real motivation is the people we seek to assist in Sri Lanka and Southern Africa - places I am intimately connected with through travel and my job of the past 15 years as a travel writer.

In my profession it is important...
To never lose perspective. Be clear about why you are getting involved and hang onto it.

Professionally, my proudest achievement is...
Starting, supporting and funding projects to better the lives of people in the countries in which we operate. Knowing that I am making a contribution in the fight against poverty is important to me. It may be small, but at least it's a contribution.

I feel a strong connection with...
Communities in Sri Lanka, and Southern Africa where I have spent much time working and wildlife watching

Success to me is...
Being able to measure how many people we help, the effectiveness of our assistance and how we use that knowledge to continuously improve.

In the future I would like to...
Grow Friends 4 for Life so it reaches out to more people.

The single-most important issue in the world is...
Inequality brought about by globalisation and the existence of poverty.

The best things I would recommend about Deakin are...
The learning environment, the quality of its staff and the interaction between students.

My course helped my career…
By enabling me to understand more about the effects of globalisation, inequality and existing frameworks that address these issues.

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