Business School Topics
UWA Arts and Economics graduate Ben Stephens has been awarded a Frank Knox Memorial Fellowship to study a Master in Public Policy at Harvard Kennedy School.
Ben, who will begin his studies in August, plans to explore new ways to tackle disadvantage and inequality.
“To date I’ve been focused on working with Indigenous Australians on the barriers to Indigenous empowerment and development. I look forward to continuing this work in the future and tackling similar issues in other contexts across Australia and internationally,” Ben said.
Following his studies at UWA, Ben spent a year living in remote parts of the Kimberley and worked as a volunteer teacher assistant in the Aboriginal community of Balgo (Wirrimanu). More recently, he has worked with Indigenous lawyer and activist Noel Pearson.
“At the Cape York Institute, I was privileged to work with Noel Pearson and other Indigenous leaders on the design and authorship of the ‘Empowered Communities: Empowered Peoples’ reforms. I now work with Good to Great Schools Australia, a not-for-profit founded and chaired by Mr Pearson, where we focus on school reform aimed at achieving an Australia where a child’s prospects are not determined by their ethnicity, location or socio-economic status,” Ben said.
“I’ve also been fortunate to contribute to education reform and Indigenous affairs as a consultant with Deloitte Access Economics where highlights included conducting a policy review of native title organisations for the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet and developing a monitoring and evaluation framework for Many Rivers Microfinance.”
At Harvard, Ben will further develop his skills as an economist and policy analyst and will explore the potential for better performance and impact measurement to enhance the effectiveness of governments, not-for-profits, social enterprises and impact investors.
Ben will join more than 400 Knox Fellows from Australia, Canada, New Zealand and the United Kingdom who have studied at Harvard University since the first Knox Fellowships were awarded in 1948.
Knox Fellows are selected through a rigorous competitive process on the basis of ‘future promise of leadership, strength of character, keen mind, balanced judgement and a devotion to the democratic ideal.’
Ben is excited to be studying at Harvard, learning from lecturers who have been at the forefront of tackling the globe’s most challenging issues.
And he is grateful to his UWA lecturers.
“I’m unable to overstate my debt to the late Professor Paul Miller for his generous support and guidance as my honours supervisor and subsequently” Ben said.
“More generally, I am grateful for the opportunities my studies at UWA have provided. My studies at Harvard will build directly on my degrees in Arts and Economics at UWA, particularly my honours year in Economics at the Business School.”