Make it happen!


At the start of 2018 I went in search of a notebook and after hours of going back and forth between shelves I finally settled on a simple blue note book engraved with the words “Make it happen”. It seems to be one of the consistent themes in my life this year.

Staying true to the spirit of making things happen – this has finally happened! I have decided to hop off the procrastination train and just start sharing some of my thoughts publicly! It is a pretty big deal – at least to me, like this is huge, bigger than the titanic huge – ok perhaps not so titanic but still huge.

I have thought about this for a while and I have finally decided to do so in a ‘public space’ (at this point I was going to write ‘and all the introverts shouted Amen!’ But we all know…‘They all thought amen’). What to share about was always the big question.

Just a little over a year ago (not quite sure how it’s over a year now), I started my Doctor of Philosophy in Social Sciences degree. My topic of interest? Australia’s Not-for-Profit Peak Bodies (aka umbrella organisations) and their contributions to the policy process. Sounds like a mouthful, but I can guarantee you it is not as complicated as it sounds. Well, perhaps a tad complex depending on which end of the intellectual spectrum you are coming from especially if the world of public policy is foreign to you.

When I started studying, I decided on two things. The first was that I wanted to do research that had *hopefully* some tangible benefits to key actors in whatever area of research I chose to focus on. The second was that I would make sure along the way I shared my reflections and the lessons I learn. The latter, motivated by some striking conversations had with colleagues and my endless frustrations with having to navigate unfamiliar territory.

Instead of procrastinating on some random items, I have talked myself into productive procrastination if there is such a thing. When thinking and readings become unproductive, then perhaps I can vent about it in a way that still helps me work on some of my goals which include (1) developing the habit of writing regularly (2) learning to keep things simple (3) stepping out of my comfort zone.

The PhD journey itself feels like one of the steepest intellectual, professional, social and emotional hikes I have ever been on. As I learn a lot more about myself with each week (which feels a bit odd because really, I think I’m supposed to be learning more about my research topic), I hope to not only share my reflections but to provoke some thoughts in you about public policy, persuasion, power & politics 🙂


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