Benjamin Stefano

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

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.

In keeping with the bilateral focus of the scholarship, Jake’s research will compare Australia and the UK’s historic and contemporary immigration 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.


Isabelle Napier

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 Watt

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 Allan

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 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.


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.