With seven years experience as a political-military intelligence analyst under her belt, U.S-born Katherine Wilson found herself in a new foreign territory in 2010 – Sydney, Australia.
With her partner’s job bringing them to the University, Katherine embraced life in Australia and is now combining a research administration position with postgraduate study at Macquarie.
“The Master of Policing, Intelligence and Counter-Terrorism (PICT) helps keep me engaged in the intelligence field,” Katherine says. “It also expands my knowledge base into policing and counter-terrorism and helps me orient toward Australian national-strategic priorities.”
Like many international students studying at Macquarie, Katherine has specifically selected her classes and assignments in order to build a greater knowledge of the Asia-Pacific region. On securing her Australian citizenship, she then hopes to secure an intelligence role in Australia.
“I’ve been able to build my knowledge of the dynamics and issues in the Asia-Pacific, particularly the tension between Australia’s alliance with the U.S and its increasing economic relationship with China,” she says.
“In combination with my analytic skills, this will help increase my competitiveness for job opportunities in Sydney.”
She notes that while there are distinct differences between the American and Australian approaches to intelligence and security, there is also a much common ground.
“The U.S is almost exclusively focused on intelligence in support of foreign relations, whereas in Australia there is a greater focus on domestic security,” Katherine says.
“But the techniques and tradecraft used are generally the same, and both have Westphalian styles of government with a separation of powers, and use intelligence as one input into decision-making for the executive.”
Katherine says one of the biggest benefits of studying PICT at Macquarie is the cultural diversity of the students and staff.
“The make-up of my Border Security and Migration class for example, provides such wide reaching perspectives and opinions,” Katherine notes. “It’s not something you’d get reading articles or writing your own assignments.”
The Master of Policing, Intelligence and Counter-Terrorism is a one-year degree that gives you access to experts from around the world with practical experience in all levels of security. The degree can also be studied by distance and combined with the Master of International Security Studies.