Master of Special Operations and Irregular Warfare graduate Brooke Barling recognises the invaluable connection between her academic study and work.  

Brooke is the Deputy Director Maritime Domain Support Office within Navy Headquarters, where her degree has boosted her career in the sector.  

“Working in a uniformed environment I wanted to better understand how the policy we are formulating, and subsequent capability we are acquiring, are supporting operations and Defence’s contribution to the achievement of government priorities,” she said. 

Being able to apply her academic study directly into the workplace displays the wide and unique impact of postgraduate studies.  

“It opened the door for me to be part of the irregular warfare discussion both within Defence and in the academic space,” Brooke said. 

“I’ve been mentored by seasoned academics, invited to international conferences, presented my research to academics from other universities across Australia and overseas, and developed a network that is focused on supporting emerging academics.”  

While Brooke flourished in the academic space with the research and analytical skills she learnt from her master’s degree, the technical content of the degree has also allowed Brooke to expand her toolkit for workplace success. 

“The degree content will better enable me to be part of the strategic discourse which informs requirements setting, right through to capability acquisition and operationalisation of that capability,” she said. 

Studying provided Brooke limitless opportunity to expand her technical skill and explore new areas of expertise. 

“Find new pathways with the potential to open new doors and networks” is the advice Brooke would give to current students.  

“Take subjects that are of interest to you, not just those that are job relevant.” 

Above all, Brooke encourages students to made decisions that ensures they are “supported and empowered to do the best they can”. 

Congratulations to Brooke and her fellow 2022 graduates!