Development Practice Student and Graduate Profiles

The Development Practice suite of postgraduate Programs is very fortunate to have a rich and vibrant student community with students from many different countries and cultures. Our Alumni share some of their experiences about studying Development Practice at UQ.

If you're wanting to share your experience please get in touch with us at

6. Amelia King - Australia

What was the best thing about your Development Practice program?

  • I really appreciated the opportunity to critically look at different perspectives on development, in various contexts and in a holistic way. It broadened my awareness of various agendas at play in our societies and equipped me with principals to work by as I engage with communities and stakeholders that facilitate collaboration and empowerment.

What was the most important thing you learnt/or most defining experience, you had while studying Development Practice at UQ?

  • One thing I found extremely enriching was the experience of studying with fellow students from many different backgrounds. The MDP attracts students from many different countries around the world and from a variety of working experiences and educational specialties. Many of the classes involved in-depth discussions and working-groups that allowed for this variety of perspectives and experiences to be shared. This really deepened my learning as it helped me to contextualise what we were learning, and we were also able to practice the skills needed for community building. As I rubbed shoulders with such a variety of people and cultures, I came to realise and was encouraged that there are many good people and many good things happening all over the world.

How did your study help you to get to your current role, and what does your current role involve?

  • While completing the Master's degree, I was working for an organisation that provides allied health services to disadvantaged and rural/remote communities throughout Queensland. My role was mainly internal administration and systems improvement at that time. After completing my Master's they offered me a leadership position through which I set up and managed their NDIS services, as the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) was beginning to roll out through the state. This provided an opportunity to see some of the positives of the scheme and also many of the challenges and gaps it created. I wanted to have more of an influence on improving how this scheme impacted communities and families. I am now working for an organisation that implements the NDIS for young children and my role involves leading community capacity building projects and community engagement. Having the Master of Development Practice not only qualified me for the community capacity building role but also provided me with the ability and skills to recognise the positives and challenges of the Scheme, develop quality solutions and work with communities in a productive way.

What advice would you give to students in the same degree you studied?

  • Reach out to your fellow students and support each other. They can become part of an important network for you to lean on now and down the road.

What challenges have you come across in your career, and how did your degree help you overcome them?

  • At the moment I feel one of the biggest challenges we face in the health and disability sectors is a funding structure that encourages competition and inhibits collaboration. Many organisations feel they can't afford to work collaboratively for a number of reasons and, as a result, we have many siloed services that make it more difficult for the community to receive quality support and care. The Master's degree, especially the community development courses, equipped me with knowledge and tools to work with groups of people to facilitate shared understanding and agendas, or collaboration. I draw upon these skills almost every day in my role as I engage with a variety of organisations in a variety of communities to break down barriers of competition and build collaboration.