Kearrin says that development studies is perfect for anyone who wants to bring positive change into the world. Whether you study a Master of Global Development, or combine multiple areas of expertise with a Master of Public Health – Master of Global Development, you’ll be able to contribute to creating a brighter future for others.
“There’s probably two things that are most important if you’re thinking about doing global development studies,” Kearrin says.
A commitment to change
“Firstly, it’s important that you have a commitment to positive social change,” he says. “If you want to pursue a career or profession that has meaning, then the global development courses at JCU are programs that take change seriously and don’t shy away from taking action.”
Making real and meaningful change in the world is at the core of development studies. “We should all be thinking about how we can do meaningful work,” Kearrin says. “But we also all need to be reflective about how efforts to bring about good change can also cause harm. Good change requires a lot of listening, working collaboratively, and care in addressing power imbalances.”
“Secondly, you have to be prepared to always keep learning,” Kearrin says. Always challenging yourself and learning about new and different people, societies, or environments is the key to success when working in global development.
“If you’re in international development work, you might be moving between different countries and contexts,” Kearrin says. “So, at many times in your career, you’ll be able to take your wealth of knowledge with you to new places and contexts, but you’ll also be learning entirely new things about new people and places. We need to recognize the limits of our own knowledge and the expertise and strengths of local stakeholders, including our intended beneficiaries.”
A commitment to lifelong learning allows you to grow your existing professional expertise — whether in health, planning, education or many other disciplines — and apply it to new and complex global issues. “Global development is about having a real enthusiasm for lifelong learning,” Kearrin says.
“Health is a critically important sector for global development, and JCU has a lot of researchers who are making a real difference in health and development, whether it’s focusing on women’s health in Papua New Guinea, or researching disease control in the Tropics, which combine expertise across health and development.”
JCU Senior Lecturer Dr Kearrin Sims
Want to become a change-maker like Kearrin? You can find out more about Kearrin’s research or discover the Master of Public Health – Master of Global Development.