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Michael Stone is a government lawyer and executive manager with over 25 years’ experience in designing, implementing and governing policies, programs, agencies, regulations, procurements and contracts in a range of different contexts. In 2018 while working full time, he enrolled in ANU RegNet’s Master of Criminology Justice Regulation.
“I decided to enrol in a postgraduate degree to build on my career experiences and broaden my perspectives,” said Michael, who received his degree in December.
“While there is a core of criminology within the degree structure and it can be viewed as a specialist degree, the MCJR can also be approached as a degree in broader regulation, justice and governance topics well beyond classic criminality and crime prevention.
“For example, I have explored social theory perspectives on indigenous reconciliation, the potential impacts of not-for-profit regulation on civil society, how restorative justice approaches might address elder abuse, restorative justice in the workplace, theories and concepts of punishment, welfare and society, and the ‘ecological’ theory of violence against women.”
Michael said that while balancing work, study and personal commitments proved challenging at times, he benefited personally and professionally from his experience.
“One challenge is readjusting to the overall dynamic of studying. The other is the obvious challenge of juggling your family, work, and your need for things like exercise, recreation, and holidays, with your study interests and demands.
“As I was hoping, the MCJRE, together with subjects I undertook in the Master of Public Policy and Master of Laws which I originally commenced in 2016, has provided me with a broad range of perspectives and approaches to apply in thinking about questions of policy, regulation, justice and governance.
“If you are in the public sector, or for that matter in the non-government or commercial sector, and have anything to do with policy and society, the more lenses that you can use to view a problem or opportunity, the better you will understand the context and be able to contribute to constructive policy solutions and proposals.
“Undertaking higher degree study within the course of your career also hones your critical thinking, research, writing and presentation skills in a different way from what you become used to in your day to day work.
“One particular benefit of studying at RegNet for those interested in public policy is the work the School has done over an extended period in developing theories of regulation. These are all of great theoretical and practical value in considering public policy interventions and responses in a wide range of contexts, as the work of RegNet scholars has shown over a long period.”
Reflecting further on his experience, Michael said that studying alongside other students with diverse backgrounds and experience was another highlight of his experience at ANU.
“One of the most enjoyable things about Masters study at ANU has been interacting with a great diversity of fellow students, both from within Australia, but also from many other countries from the Asia-Pacific region and further afield.
“In all of the subjects I have taken, it has been fascinating exploring differences and similarities in the issues and approaches in many different national and cultural contexts, through the discussions, debates and presentations in class.”
Since 2003, Michael has worked in a government agency developing and implementing programs in the health sector. Having studied part time over four years, Michael is planning on taking a much deserved break after which he is considering the option of furthering his studies.