David Vallance

David Vallance.jpg
David studied the Master of Strategic Studies at the Strategic and Defence Studies Centre (SDSC).

In high school, David was very passionate about history and political affairs. That motivation led him to complete his undergrad in War Studies in the King’s College in London.

For his next study experience, he reflected on the importance to understand how countries conceive their priorities especially Australia - "it is crucial to identify and analyse the prime concerns of our neighbours and ours. What do we want to achieve?”

His reflection gave rise to research on what and where to study. “I had a lot of great recommendations about ANU and the Strategic & Defence Studies Centre (SDSC). I investigated the Master of Strategic Studies (MSS) and its academics. SDSC plays a crucial role in preparing future leaders to face challenges. I said to myself oh my God! I have to be here”. David moved from Sydney to Canberra to start at ANU.

“I like Canberra. All the open green spaces and the opportunity to cycle around the lake and parks is priceless. People are welcoming and friendly. It’s a lovely place”.

David graduated from his MSS in 2019. He believes that one of the strengths of the program is the diversity of students with different professional experiences. “It is very beneficial to meet a range of people with awesome skills that we can absorb and incorporate into our thinking.”

David saw himself in a difficult position to choose one favourite course. “God! I enjoyed the whole program. It is tricky to choose a single one. I can mention Building a Defence Force: Defence Force Structure, Planning and Acquisition. It was a fantastic course! I learnt how to build rational thinking around defence projects and specific case studies about Australia¨.

One of the most memorable outcomes that David is taking away from his journey at ANU is the students and his friends. As a student representative, he had the opportunity to support his classmates, build a valuable network and contribute to the experience. “It is incalculable the amount of fabulous and clever friends I have met. The convivial environment is amazing”.

David interned with the Australian Strategic Policy Institute (ASPI). “It was a very interesting experience. One of my greatest achievements is that I worked on a paper about the implications of climate change for the Australian strategic policymaking”.

David is proud of his accomplishments. The most valuable skills he notoriously improved on throughout his master were time management and the capability to do research. “I have improved my skills on how to digest information and translate it into something understandable”.

David is now working in the graduate program at Noetic Group. “I am very excited about my career path and the new challenges it will bring”.