Francesca graduated with a Bachelor of Arts with First Class Honours and Bachelor of Laws from the University of Sydney. Francesca’s Honours thesis examined the relationship between state sovereignty, human rights and statelessness, drawing together her interests in political philosophy, jurisprudence, and public and international law. Francesca undertook exchange semesters to McGill University and the University of Glasgow, cultivating her interests in international affairs and comparative approaches to the law.
Francesca has subsequently worked for seven years as an international lawyer and policy advisor for the Australian Government, advising on issues at the intersection of the law, public policy and global affairs. She completed a Master of Laws in International Law at the Australian National University, complementing her professional experience. As a Governor Phillip Scholar at St Antony’s College, Francesca will undertake a Master of Public Policy at the Blavatnik School of Government. Francesca is passionate about translating theory and analysis into policy and practice, and she looks forward to enhancing her ability to develop effective responses to multi-faceted public policy challenges.
In her spare time, Francesca enjoys hiking, scuba diving, and playing and watching tennis.
George Threadgold completed his degree at Blavatnik School of Government in 2023. Prior to that he was in Canberra, Australia where he spent five and half years working in the Australian Government.
George has worked in a range of international security, defence, and foreign policy roles in the federal public service and as an adviser in the Australian Parliament.
George completed a Bachelor of Arts in Politics and International Studies at the University of Melbourne with study abroad periods at Cambridge University and Georgetown University. He is interested in international security and trade policy and the intersection between the public and private sectors.
Mahendra is very grateful to be awarded the Governor Phillip Scholarship to read the MPhil in Politics (Political Theory) at University College, Oxford.
Born in Auckland and raised in Adelaide, Mahendra was dux of Rostrevor College, where he received the Australian Student Prize and the Governor of South Australia Commendation. He went on to win the University Medal and twice graduated as valedictorian from the University of Adelaide, with degrees in literature, philosophy, and politics and international relations.
During his time at university, Mahendra was a national young ambassador for UNICEF Australia, a documentary-maker for Radio Adelaide, a co-creator of a free online Shakespeare course for edX, an education support officer for rural high school students, and a board member and volunteer for Edmund Rice Camps.
Prior to commencing at Oxford, Mahendra worked as an adviser at the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet in Australia. He was previously an Anne Kantor Fellow and researcher for an MP in the Parliament of Australia, and a course coordinator, tutor, and research assistant at the University of Adelaide.
Aside from work and study, Mahendra enjoys hiking, cooking, bird watching, and film photography—just not at the same time.
Eden Bywater completed her Bachelor of Arts with Honors at the University of Queensland in Brisbane. During her undergraduate degree, she did her exchange at Science Po in Paris and spent time at Humboldt and Freiburg University. There, she cultivated her passion for languages and international affairs.
In her Honours thesis, Eden examined the Women, Peace and Security Agenda and it’s limitations in Myanmar. Upon completing her thesis, Eden began studying Burmese. As a Governor Phillip Scholar at St Antony’s College, Eden hopes to further develop her understanding of Myanmar, and research how gender is organised in international institutions, paying particular attention to how hierarchies are challenged and maintained.
In her spare time, Eden enjoys oil painting, learning languages, and watching and playing football.
Having graduated with a Bachelor of Arts (Hons) from the University of Melbourne, where he was a Chancellor’s Scholar, Benjamin has commenced the MPhil in International Relations at the University of Oxford.
Benjamin’s interest in International Relations is rooted in an enthusiasm for foreign languages. Alongside a major in Politics & International Studies, he majored in German Studies, eventually leading him to write his Honours thesis in German on the poetic drafts of Ingeborg Bachmann. He also extended his degree to complete a Diploma of Languages in Spanish & Latin American Studies.
Having previously interned for three months at the Australian Embassy in Berlin (Political-Economic Section), Benjamin hopes to pursue a career in public service upon graduation.
Jake Davies graduated from the University of Oxford with a First Class Honours in History & Politics. In receiving the Governor Phillip Scholarship, he became the first scholar to go from the UK to Australia to pursue a full-time Research Masters at the University of Sydney, which he converted into a PhD thesis.
In keeping with the bilateral focus of the scholarship, Jake’s thesis compares Australia and the UK’s historic and contemporary immigration and refugee policies from a critical race perspective. His thesis investigates the different ways in which selection policies have discriminated against people of colour and seeks to explain the reasons for variation across space and time.
Formerly at the University of Sydney’s Sydney Policy Lab, global food non-profit MAD, the Yale Sustainable Food Program, and trained in Ethics, Politics and Economics at Yale University, Isabelle has commenced her MPhil in International Relations at Oxford. She hopes to contribute to scholarship which would bring theoretical understandings of trust to bear on approaches to global governance, drawing on democratic and participatory approaches to international relations. Her goal is to complete a DPhil and establish a career in national or international public service.
Rohan completed his undergraduate studies at the University of Queensland, obtaining a Bachelor of Arts with First Class Honours and Bachelor of Laws. He is an admitted lawyer who prior to his postgraduate studies worked as an adviser to an Australian cabinet minister, working on legal, constitutional, parliamentary, and security policy issues. His previous research examined Australia’s ‘hyper-legislative’ response to contemporary security challenges under the supervision of Associate Professor Sarah Percy at the University of Queensland.
Rohan’s MPhil thesis examines the growth of the role of the UN Security Council as legislator and its efficacy in addressing contemporary security threats.
Kye is a graduate and University Medalist from the University of Queensland (UQ), whereat completing a Bachelor of Arts with First Class Honours in International Relations in 2018. Supervised by Associate Professor Andrew Phillips, his honours thesis was located at the intersection of International Relations theory and the history of international thought, wherein focusing on the peculiar idea of fascist internationalism. Since graduating, Kye has acted as a tutor and research assistant within the School of Political Science and International Studies at UQ. Kye’s MPhil thesis is concerned with the international thought of Sir Oswald Mosley and its contextualisation within inter-war debates on international affairs.
John de Bhal
John completed a Bachelor of Arts with Honours at the University of Queensland in Brisbane, Australia. During his undergraduate studies, he participated in an exchange semester at the Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile where he cultivated his passion for both the Spanish language and international affairs. John’s Honours thesis drew these themes together through an examination the ‘thaw’ in US-Cuba relations. As a Governor Phillip Scholar at Balliol College, Oxford, John completed an MPhil in International Relations, writing a thesis that developed a new theoretical framework for understanding rising power status-seeking behaviour. This research serves as the starting point for his DPhil which he is currently undertaking at Nuffield College, Oxford.
In his spare time, John enjoys hanging out with friends, speaking Spanish, learning Brazilian Portuguese, as well as watching and playing the wonderful game of cricket.
Hayley is from Perth, Western Australia where she attended Perth Modern School in Subiaco. After graduating as runner-up dux, she accepted a merit scholarship at the Australian National University to study the Bachelor of Philosophy, majoring in History and International Relations. During her time at ANU, Hayley interned with MP Dr Andrew Leigh, was a summer researcher at the University of Western Australia and an academic scholar at her college. Before honours she travelled to Germany as a Mannkal Scholar to work at a free-market think-tank in Berlin. Here she developed a strong interest in policy development and trade relations. Hayley then returned to ANU and completed her honours thesis on Preferential Trade Agreements, graduating with the LF Crisp Memorial Prize for the highest mark in Political Science.
Hayley has dual interests in trade and the design of international institutions as well as evidenced-based policy making. In the last year she has worked as a research policy analyst for the Director of the Crawford School of Public Policy (Professor Helen Sullivan), the 2018 Young Australian in International Affairs Fellow for Political Economy, and a tutor in the political science department at ANU. In her free time Hayley enjoys long-distance running, finishing the Great Ocean Road marathon in May in second place. Hayley has a deeper interest in access to education, and has tutored for the Indigenous Tutorial Assistance Scheme at ANU. She hopes to pursue these interests at Oxford, writing for journals, translating information for the public, and increasing access to education; reflecting the enlightenment values of the Governor Philip Scholarship which are built on meritocracy.
Hayley is pursuing the MPhil in International Relations at Nuffield College, Oxford and hopes to further her understanding of how state interests affect the design of international institutions, as well as how international organisations in turn affect state behaviour. Her research interests strongly embody the liberal and egalitarian ethos of Governor Phillip that is so critical to Australia’s modern foundations and future.
Katherine, our first Governor Phillip scholar, emigrated from China to Australia with her parents at the age of 8. She attended Presbyterian Ladies’ College, Sydney. She was an adjudicator on the high school debate circuit and was involved in Sydney University Law Society’s Juvenile Justice mentoring Program which was designed to offer young students the opportunity to mentor young residents at juvenile centres. Katherine chose to study abroad at Chicago University. She completed a double-major in economics and political science, graduating as a Student Marshall with honours in political science. This distinction, created in 1895, is bestowed by the President of the University on the basis of a student’s academic performance and their involvement in and contribution to the campus community.
Katherine is interested in international law and intergovernmental arbitration and has interned for the International Criminal Court in the Hague. In her free time, she was involved in student government, and occasionally writes on fashion and culture. Katherine will be pursuing an MPhil in Political Theory at Oxford and hopes to develop her understanding of transnational legal structures, and the moral obligations of international actors.
Katherine’s M Phil thesis will focus on the way in which the moral principles are reflected in transnational institutions despite manifest difficulties in international context. This most appropriately reflects Arthur Phillip’s own humane concerns for the ethical underpinnings of governance and law at the very foundation of modern Australia, at the farthest corner of the earth.