Group photo of Public Safety and Security students with Associate Professor Razwana Begum and Dr Sheryl Chua.
The Overseas Experiential Learning (OEL) programme, coordinated through the SUSS Centre for Experiential Learning, is offered as part of the Public Safety and Security (PSS) programme. This year, 24 students from the PSS programme visited Canberra, Australia, between 17 and 24 September 2022. The OEL325 Public Security in Asia-Pacific course aims to provide students with a deeper understanding of public security in the host country. Through visits to educational, security and community agencies, students are exposed to various techniques and strategies to address a range of public security threats, from cybersecurity to violent extremism.
During the trip, the students learned more about the culture of Australia by visiting various iconic cultural institutions, such as the National Museum of Australia, National Arboretum and the Parliament House. They also watched the movie, Rabbit-Proof Fence, and gained a deeper understanding of the struggles that the Aboriginal Australians faced in their homeland in the early to mid-1900s, and their courage and perseverance in finding their way back to their families.
Students visiting the National Arboretum, one of the iconic locations in Canberra, Australia.
Throughout the week, the PSS students attended talks by various governing bodies and experts in the public safety and security sector in Australia and learnt more on various related topics, including human rights, independent statutory oversight, violent extremism, cyber security, family violence and diversity and inclusion. On the sixth day of their visit, the students were given a live tour of the Belconnen Police Station to better understand policing and emergency management in Australia.
Students were given a tour by the officers of the Belconnen Police Station.
The students were introduced to Police, Ambulance and Clinician Early Response (PACER), which is a joint crisis response effort implemented by the Australian Capital Territory (ACT) Policing in 2019 for paramedics, clinicians and police officers to work together to respond to calls for mental health assistance.
Students were introduced to the Police, Ambulance and Clinician Early Response (PACER).
As part of the experiential learning cycle, students reflected on their experiences and analysed how some of the practices of the ACT government and community agencies could be applied in Singapore context at the end of the eight-day trip. The reflective sharing session was graced by Professor Paddy Nixon, Vice Chancellor of the University of Canberra, and Mr Anil Kumar Nayar, Singapore High Commissioner to Australia.
Associate Professor Razwana Begum presenting the learning outcomes of the OEL325 Public Security in Asia-Pacific to students and guests at the University of Canberra.
Students presenting their reflections and takeaways from the trip.
The students were glad to be able to participate in the overseas experience trip and found the topics relevant to the PSS programme.
Mohamad Syafiq Bin Mohamad Zahren, SUSS Public Safety and Security student, presenting a token of appreciation to Mr Anil Kumar Nayar, Singapore High Commissioner to Australia.
Mohamad Syafiq Bin Mohamad Zahren, SUSS Public Safety and Security student, presenting a token of appreciation to Professor Paddy Nixon, Vice Chancellor of the University of Canberra.
(From left) Mr Alasdair Roy, Consultant Psychologist, Australia; Dr Sheryl Chua, Lecturer, SUSS Public Safety and Security; Associate Professor Razwana Begum, Head of Programme, SUSS Public Safety and Security; Professor Paddy Nixon, Vice Chancellor of the University of Canberra, Australia; Mr Anil Kumar Nayar, Singapore High Commissioner to Australia, at the event.
Akif Harith Lee Roseaidi, Year 3 PSS student, said that he is satisfied with the knowledge gained from the session. He shared: “The tour was very interesting and insightful as it gave me a good understanding of the operations of the police service in the Australian Capital Territory (ACT). I especially enjoyed the tour of the operations room, vehicle display as well as the interaction with the different officers.”
Another Year 3 PSS student, Mohamad Syafiq Bin Mohamad Zahren, reflected: “The trip has allowed me to discover more about the diverse Australian cultures and inspired me to be more appreciative of multi-cultural Singapore and its policies that protect our society's unity and cohesiveness. It was an interesting and beneficial experience where learning could be beyond the classroom.”
Students bid farewell to Canberra, Australia, at the end of the fruitful eight-day experiential learning journey.
Back in Singapore, the students presented their learnings on 7 October 2022. Some of the topics presented included human rights, restorative justice, PACER, independent statutory oversight and respectful relationships. The final presentation was attended by various industry partners and guests, including Ms Donna Parsons, Detective Superintendent for the Australian Federal Police, Ms Melinda Harrison from the welfare organisation, People of Disability, and Ms Joanne Cameron, Commander at the Investigation Unit of the Australian Capital Territory Policing, Australian Federal Police.