Front row (left to right): Ms Tanny Ng, Centre for HT Skills Transformation, Home Team Academy, Ministry of Home Affairs; Mr Anwar Abdullah, Chief Executive, Home Team Academy, Ministry of Home Affairs; Detective Superintendent Donna Parsons, Senior Officer for Singapore and Brunei-Darussalam, Australian Federal Police; His Excellency The Hon Will Hodgman, Australia’s High Commissioner to Singapore; Professor Robbie Goh, Provost, SUSS; Associate Professor Razwana Begum, Head of Programme, Public Safety and Security, SUSS; Associate Professor Ludwig Tan, Dean, School of Humanities and Behavioural Sciences, SUSS; Mr Alasdair Roy, Consultant Psychologist, Australia.
Professor Robbie Goh, SUSS Provost, hosted an on-campus event attended by His Excellency The Hon Will Hodgman, Australia’s High Commissioner to Singapore, Detective Superintendent Donna Parsons, Senior Officer for Singapore and Brunei-Darussalam, Australian Federal Police, and Mr Anwar Abdullah, Chief Executive, Home Team Academy, Ministry of Home Affairs, on 12 April 2022.
The event showcased the learning outcomes achieved by 26 recent graduates of the inaugural OEL325 Public Safety in the Asia Pacific course and consisted a series of short presentations by the students as well as an interactive discussion between a panel of students and over 60 guests.
OEL325 students leading a panel discussion on key public safety and security issues.
OEL325 is offered as part of the Public Safety and Security (PSS) Programme and provides students from SUSS with an opportunity to meet and engage with high-level Australian public safety and security professionals. “The aim of the course is for students to be exposed to new or innovative initiatives and ideas, explore similarities and differences between Singaporean and Australian models of service delivery, and consider the potential application of Australian approaches to public safety and security in the Singaporean context,” said Associate Professor Razwana Begum, Head of Programme, Public Safety and Security.
Professor Goh officially welcomed guests and outlined the importance of providing overseas learning opportunities for SUSS students, and the benefits of developing partnerships with international academic, government, non-government, and private sectors. He shared: “The contemporary and growing importance of public safety and security, both in Singapore and overseas, and the potential application of international approaches to public safety and security in the Singaporean context make opportunities provided by courses such as OEL325 an integral component of the SUSS teaching model.”
The event programme was co-designed with students from the course, and involved students working together to present a series of short 3-minute summaries of key learning outcomes from the course, including countering violent extremism programmes, witness intermediary schemes and community justice.
Students then presented a detailed description of Australian public safety and security initiatives that may have applicability within the Singaporean context, followed by a facilitated discussion with the audience about the individual initiatives. Initiatives considered by the panel and audience included strategies to address men’s use of family violence, offending behaviour among young people, and violent extremism.
“I was absolutely delighted to attend the OEL Sharing Session,” said High Commissioner Hodgman. “The student presentations were informative and thought-provoking, and the course is a great example of collaboration and exchange between Singaporean and Australian universities and their students.”
OEL325 students celebrate the successful completion of their course with the course convenors.
OEL325 is scheduled to run again in September 2022 in collaboration with the Australian National University (ANU), and the course is already attracting significant interest from SUSS students keen to travel to Australia to meet and engage with Australian public safety and security experts and fellow students from the ANU.
“I encourage students to take up this opportunity,” said Kenneth Tan, SUSS Bachelor of Public Safety and Security student. “Participating in OEL325 exposed me to ideas and practices that expanded my understanding of public safety and security in Singapore and Australia, and demonstrated the importance of learning about how different countries approach similar issues. It was also great fun!”