Febri Nurrahmi is a PhD candidate examining media representations of Sharia law in the Aceh province of Indonesia.
“I am currently a Lecturer in Media Studies at Universitas Syiah Kuala in Aceh. During my academic career I developed an interest in local media and identity, and wanted to pursue my PhD in media representations of Sharia in Aceh,” says Nurrahmi.
For Nurrahmi, the decision to study at La Trobe was easy. “The best academic to supervise my PhD project was based at La Trobe, and I also heard about La Trobe’s reputation for an excellent student experience, particularly for international students.”
Nurrahmi’s research is investigating how Sharia law is framed by Acehnese media and what impact this has on the Acehnese people.
“Aceh is the only province in Indonesia with complete autonomy in implementing Sharia. My research explores how the leading Acehnese local newspaper represents how Sharia is implemented in the region. I am also examining the relationship between local journalists, Sharia news articles, and audiences as it pertains to their homeland, culture and identity,” says Nurrahmi.
“I hope that my findings will improve current knowledge of Sharia media coverage and framing, particularly for local media.”
Finley Watson is a PhD candidate investigating how we can better understand the role and impact of far-right alternative media.
“Growing up I developed a keen interest in politics,” says Finley. “I particularly wanted to understand how government functions and how public policy could be more effective.”
“La Trobe’s Bachelor of Politics, Philosophy and Economics was the perfect degree for my interests. After finishing my undergraduate studies I was given the opportunity to complete a Master of Arts where I researched the role of interest groups in Australian politics,” explains Finley.
“I had a wonderful experience with La Trobe and chose to continue on and undertake my PhD, taking full advantage of the excellent resources and support of my supervisors.”
Finley’s research is examining the role of far-right alternative media in contemporary society.
“I am investigating the functioning and impact of far-right alternative media in advanced democracies. Far-right alternative media outlets serve as sources of misinformation and are mobilisers of political advocacy,” he says.
“I’m hoping that this research will contribute to a greater understanding of how liberal democratic institutions can be supported in an increasingly turbulent political era.”
Ujjwal Krishna is a PhD candidate examining the influence of research and politics on development policy.
“I have always been interested in the broader question of how research influences policy, an interest that has led me to undertaking a PhD,” says Ujjwal.
Embedded with the DFAT-supported Developmental Leadership Program, Ujjwal has been conducting his industry-funded PhD research at La Trobe’s Institute for Human Security and Social Change. “I have really enjoyed working with brilliant colleagues who are committed to improving development practice and promoting inclusive social change. I have had access to a wealth of multidisciplinary knowledge, practical experience and networks.”
Ujjwal is investigating the role of research at the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade and how, if at all, research influences development policy.
“After the Australian Agency for International Development was merged into the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, a substantial amount of development expertise, leadership and capacity exited government.”
“When it comes to development decision-making, do bureaucrats engage with research? And how does this contribute to shaping development policy and programs? These are the questions my research seeks to answer.”