From Rembau to Crawford: A journey towards sustainable growth and environmental advocacy

11 July 2023

A Crawford Graduate is taking skills from her Master of Environmental and Resource Economics degree to the global stage, developing strategies that promote green growth and sustainable development.

Nur Elisha Binti Rehan’s drive for change first started in her own backyard. Born and raised in the picturesque town of Rembau, Malaysia. Witnessing the gradual degradation of a once thriving stream behind her house due to the unsustainable practices and declining spring water flow that fed it solidified Elisha’s motivation to make a positive impact on the environment.

Combining her interests in environmental engineering and economics, Elisha embarked on a transformative academic journey at the Crawford School of Public Policy to contribute towards developing strategies that promote green growth and sustainable development.

When it came time to choose a university, the ANU Crawford School of Public Policy stood out to her. The school’s focus on the Pacific Islands and Southeast Asia resonated with her interests, and she was thrilled at the prospect of learning from renowned economists such as Professor David Stern, Professor Ligang Song, and Professor Stephen Howes.

Their expertise and insights promised to enrich Elisha’s academic journey and inspire her to excel in her studies. Moreover, being part of Crawford’s distinguished academic community would provide Elisha with invaluable resources and mentorship, propelling her towards making significant contributions in the field of economics and beyond.

“Throughout my time at Crawford, I have thoroughly enjoyed my experience. The individuals I have encountered, both students and faculty, have been welcoming, open-minded, and passionate about their respective fields. The intimate class sizes and interactive teaching style have fostered meaningful discussions and collaborations. The projects I have undertaken during my courses have allowed me to delve into real-world issues, igniting my interest in public policy and promoting green growth in Malaysia. Crawford has truly transformed my mindset and made my academic journey enjoyable and purposeful,” Elisha said.

Through her involvement in addressing environmental degradation and advocating for government intervention, Elisha has gained a deeper understanding of global policy challenges.

“In Malaysia, I believe there should be a greater focus on environmental protection, drawing inspiration from neighbouring countries like Singapore and Indonesia. Australia, on the other hand, sets a commendable example with its dedication to environmental issues, climate adaptation, and sustainable development strategies,” she said.

Looking back on her time at Crawford, one particular experience stands out.

“I was invited to attend a roundtable discussion with World Bank Vice President for East Asia and Pacific, Ms Manuela Ferro. It was an incredibly inspiring opportunity to engage with a global leader in development and gain insights into the challenges and opportunities present in the region,” Elisha recapitulates.

If you are considering studying at the Crawford School of Public Policy, “My advice to prospective students is to fully embrace the opportunity to learn from brilliant minds in development and public policy. Engage in meaningful discussions with your peers, network with professors and classmates, and stay motivated by maintaining a genuine interest in your studies.”

Elisha adds that the culture also fosters learning with academic staff willing to give guidance and eager to help. “Take advantage of the various short courses and info sessions offered, and make the most of the beautiful campus facilities and surrounding nature for a refreshing break. Crawford School provides an environment conducive to both learning and personal growth, so make the most of it,” she said.

After graduation, Elisha plans to take a few weeks off to travel and reconnect with family and friends. Simultaneously, she will complete a Google Data Analysis course to enhance her skill set. Elisha will then embark on the search for her next full-time job, where she hopes to apply her knowledge and passion for sustainable development to make a meaningful impact in the field.

From all of us at Crawford: Congratulations, Elisha! The journey doesn’t end with your graduation—it is just the beginning of a lifelong commitment to creating a sustainable future for generations to come.

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Updated:  20 July 2024/Responsible Officer:  Crawford Engagement/Page Contact:  CAP Web Team