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Frances Nelligan (Australia)

Frances Nelligan

Project engineer

Townsville City Council


Master of Integrated Water Management (part-time/distance)

Graduated in 2015


Why did you choose this program?

I heard about the International WaterCentre and the MIWM through some of my colleagues, but didn’t personally know anyone that had started the MIWM. I did a little bit of research about the course and was impressed with the wide range of topics and subjects that it covered. It looked like a very interactive program (even the part-time stream) with a lot of field trips all across Australia.

I chose the MIWM because I was ready for a new challenge, and keen to develop my skill set outside of the sometimes narrow career path of an engineer. I thought that it would be fantastic for my professional development, but also personally rewarding.


What were the best parts of the program and why?

The best part was the people. The lecturers and IWC staff were so passionate and so approachable. It was vastly different to doing an undergraduate degree where you’re just a number. The IWC staff and lecturers were actually interested in getting to know the students, and it made the time in classes (both online and face-to-face) so much more enjoyable.

And, of course, getting to know the other students was a highlight. The students are from such a variety of backgrounds and in different stages of their careers – my intake included people fresh out of their undergraduate studies as well as a CEO of a water authority. Everyone was there to learn and share their experiences; and have a good time!


How do you plan to use what you’ve learned in either your current job or future career?

The MIWM has opened my eyes to the variety of career opportunities in the water industry. Before I started, I had a very narrow focus in relation to my career and where I was aiming to be in the next 5, 10 or 20 years. Going through the MIWM has made me re-evaluate my career goals and direction. Although I’m still not entirely sure of what my future career will look like, I have a better understanding of the opportunities that await me.


Frances' final project:

A critique and proposed enhancement of the Queensland approval process for large-scale agricultural developments: The Etheridge Integrated Agricultural Project case study



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