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Image of Kendra Clegg

Dr Kendra Clegg
Doctor of Philosophy 2005
Bachelor of Arts (Honours) 2001 and
Bachelor of Arts 1999

I am originally from…
A country town called Hamilton located in the Western District of Victoria.

I am currently…
A Humanitarian Affairs Officer in the Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific (ROAP) with the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UN OCHA).

The things I enjoy most about my employment are…
The challenges of each emergency situation being so unique, and the impact of my disaster preparedness work with governments, donors and relief providers is evident when a response is rolled out  rapidly through strong coordinated approaches to enable the delivery of immediate life-saving support to those in need.

Every day brings something new – it’s all part of the dynamic aspect of my area of work.

Professionally, my proudest achievements have been...
Leading an emergency response was definitely a highlight during my two years spent in Nepal during 2008-2009. Also the ability to bring about sense and order to the chaos that surrounds those moments after an emergency has arisen and being able to succeed in getting the aid to where it is needed most, is a very rewarding aspect of this job.

I chose Deakin because...
The Asian Studies course offered at the Melbourne Campus at Burwood was appealing as it offered a contemporary and historical analysis of a dynamic region, which was important, if not key, to Australia’s economic and political interests. The course was also strongly linked to languages, which was also a personal interest (Bahasa Indonesian and Arabic). The strong inter-linkage between substantial geographic studies and language was essential when it came to really studying a specific country in depth - that country for me was Indonesia.

The things I enjoyed most about Deakin were…
The quality of the learning environment. The Deakin Faculty of Arts and Education actively supported my research interests through excellent supervisors and well designed courses, along with the provision of the necessary tools and other support along the way.

The flexibility of the Asian Studies course enabled me to experience firsthand my research interests in Indonesia, which was to become the starting point of a fantastic career path or for a better term life experience.  Deakin enabled me to have direct access to study experience outside of Australia and as a result I was exposed to the endless possibilities in terms of interesting and challenging work available overseas. My PhD research in Indonesia also utilised my language skills of Bahasa Indonesia and Arabic (Arabic due to research on Arab descendants and interactions with refugees from Iraq).

After completing my PhD, my Supervisor supported me in identifying the ideal local non-government organisation in Indonesia with which to obtain a posting with Australian Volunteers International (AVI). This was an amazing experience to work for an Indonesia-based political analyst group during the first Indonesian democratic elections held in 2004. It also proved to be a turning point for me as I was picked up by the UN OCHA six months later for the tsunami response.

My studies have ultimately paved the way for me to work in so many different places around the world including Jakarta, Aceh, New York, Nepal and now in Bangkok.

In the future I would like to...
Continue learning and seeking out new challenges. I have been fortunate with the opportunities that I’ve experienced so far and will continue to enjoy the journey as it presents itself.


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2nd July 2010