U.S. Exchange Fosters Bilateral Connections at the University of Sydney
Two University of Sydney postgraduate researchers have been awarded Fulbright Scholarships, and a U.S. Fulbright Distinguished Chair from Adelphi University arrives on campus.
Lily van Eeden from the Faculty of Science and Dougal Robinson from the United States Studies Centre have been awarded the prestigious scholarships to undertake further study in the United States.
The scholarships are administered by the Australian-American Fulbright Commission to foster educational exchange between host countries and the United States.
Lily van Eeden is the Fulbright New South Wales Postgraduate Scholar. Her study of the dingo and its relationship to, and impact on, Australia’s ecosystem and farming economy is the focus of a major research project to address the cost to the industry of around $89 million per year.
“There’s an idea that Australian farmers are at war with the dingo, which threatens their livestock and their livelihoods but the ‘war’ has not been successful to date, despite managing the issue for more than 200 years. In fact, the problem shows signs of worsening,” said Ms van Eeden.
Lily’s research explores new ways to address the issue of Australia’s largest indigenous terrestrial mammal by focusing on the human dimensions of management: the farmers.
Lily will conduct comparative research looking at how Australian-American predator management systems differ by asking how farmers make decisions, who influences their choices, and what role public opinion might play in the future.
“There’s so much I can learn from working with these researchers to bring home and expand the field in Australia. It will open up a world of possibilities to improve conservation and wildlife management in Australia in the future.”
Lily will collaborate with the Predator Ecology Lab at the University of Washington, comparing the Australian and American contexts and providing an opportunity to learn from the experiences of ranchers who live alongside large predators such as wolves, mountain lions, and bears.
“Australia remains a long way behind America in research into the social science side of wildlife management and conservation. The Fulbright Scholarship is invaluable to furthering our understanding of human and wildlife conflict.”
Dougal Robinson is a Research Fellow in the Foreign Policy and Defence Program at the United States Studies Centre, employed on secondment from the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) where he’s been working on the US-Australia bilateral relationship, US foreign policy, and the US Congress.
The Fulbright Postgraduate Scholarship has been awarded to Dougal to further work he began while working at DFAT in the area of Australia’s bilateral relationship with both the United States and China.
“Questions about the US alliance and rise of China underpin a bipolar national debate on issues that pit Canberra between Washington and Beijing,” Dougal said.
“Federal cabinets are typically divided on Australia’s China policy, Chinese investment in Australia, and whether Australia should join the US in challenging assertive Chinese behaviour in our region.”
Dougal will undertake a Master of Arts in Strategic Studies, International Economics and Indonesian language at Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) in Washington DC where he will examine US-China strategic and economic competition in Asia.
“My studies will focus on military and economic competition between the US and China, which will have a major impact on Australia’s national security and prosperity.
“I’m thrilled to have the opportunity to spend the next two years at SAIS, deepening my understanding of the key trends in the Indo-Pacific region, which is home to a majority of the world’s population, its largest and fastest growing economies, an arms race, and a destabilizing security outlook.”
Professor Chin is the Fulbright Distinguished Chair in Cultural Competence, sponsored by the National Centre for Cultural Competence (NCCC), and will undertake research where she will examine leadership and cultural competency as it emerges in an environment of rapid social change and growing population diversity.
“Over the course of my career, I noticed a disconnect when it came to cultural differences in the populations we served,” said Professor Chin.
“We had never received training in how to work with diverse populations in ways that were relevant and sensitive to their needs or how they viewed the world.”
Professor Chin has worked in leadership roles in academia as Dean at Adelpi University and at Alliant International University, and is widely on diversity, cultural competence, leadership, Asian American, and women’s issues. She has worked professionally in health and mental health care in a number of executive roles and as a board member.
“Here at Sydney, I can see genuine support and vision for culture change coming from the highest level. It’s not just an emphasis on numbers, symbols or flags, or on the one-shot kind of training; it’s about building cultural competence into the system and integrating it into the business of the institution. It frames a vision for the entire University.”
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