From Dongguan to Canberra: Tony’s postgraduate experience at RegNet

Tony Zhou, RegNet
Tony Zhou, RegNet

For Tony Zhou, studying and living overseas can be an exciting and rewarding experience, with opportunities to learn new languages, appreciate diverse food and cultures and make lifelong friends. He has so far travelled and lived in Singapore for eight years, before embarking on an undergraduate program in criminology at the Australian National University.

After completing his Bachelor of criminology, Tony undertook a postgraduate degree in Master of Regulation and Governance (MREGG) at the ANU School of Regulation and Global Governance (RegNet). With a strong research interest in Criminology and Justice, Tony was attracted to the practical aspect of the program, specifically the Regulation and Governance Clinic. He was excited at the prospect of gaining experience and skills beyond the theoretical aspect of regulation and governance.

“I was very keen to participate in the clinic as I feel that it can offer me the opportunity to work and partner with regulators to address real-world issues,” he says.

Tony had the opportunity to work on a research clinic report with the Health Justice Australia (HJA), which supports collaborations between services to achieve better health and justice outcomes for vulnerable communities.

He especially enjoyed the Restorative Justice course by Professor Miranda Forysth, the opportunities to discuss and apply concepts and frameworks such as the Triple-R with Professor Anthea Roberts, and the theoretical knowledge of the regulatory pyramid, procedural justice, motivational postures and other governance and social theories.

Getting a Masters degree is no easy stroll in the park. For Tony, the biggest challenge was having to overload his courses in the second half of the year due to unforeseen circumstances causing a late change in his study program.

“I was struggling in the September and October periods with a lot of essays and assignments, but I survived eventually with better time management and support from RegNet professional staff and various course conveners.”

A sports enthusiast, Tony enjoys running and playing ball games in his spare time. Although Canberra seems a little dull at first, he now loves the capital city especially the greeneries. Living on campus at Ursula Hall has enliven his undergraduate days, with colourful activities and the opportunities to meet new people and develop lasting friendships, some of whom are his housemates now.

With the completion of his postgraduate degree, Tony is keen to apply what he has learnt from RegNet and hopes to join the private sector organisations such as non-government organisations or advocacy organisations to design and apply regulatory policy solutions to social problems.

And he has some tips for students who are considering to move on the postgraduate path after their undergraduate studies.

“Sometimes the study life as a postgraduate may seem dry and complicated but we should never give up. Reach out for help, keep trying and most importantly, believe in yourself as the end product will be rewarding.”