Katherine Shen

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.


John De Bhal

John was born in Brisbane, but spent time living overseas throughout his early childhood, mainly in China, India, and Singapore. After graduating from Brisbane’s Anglican Church Grammar School (Churchie) in 2012, John began a Bachelor of Arts at the University of Queensland (UQ). Specialising in International Relations, Spanish and Philosophy, he developed a passion for Latin American politics, leading him to write an honours thesis on US-Cuba-Latin America relations supervised by Dr Tom Chodor and Associate Professor Shahar Hameiri. John was also fortunate enough to spend a semester abroad in Chile in 2015. In addition to politics, John has a strong passion for debating and cricket, two activities that he is very excited to pursue at Oxford.

John’s main interests are in the politics of the Global South, rising powers, Latin American politics, and international political economy more generally. Accordingly, John’s MPhil thesis will look at “South-South” cooperation, focusing specifically on China’s economic engagement with Latin America. John’s main objective, in line with the aims of Governor Phillip, is to make the world a fairer and more equitable place for the most vulnerable. John is extremely grateful and proud to be a Governor Phillip Scholar, and hopes the opportunity afforded to him by the scholarship will go a long way in helping him realising his vision.


Hayley Pring

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.