Change society with a Master of Sustainable Development

Marilia da Silva Alves


Looking to shape a career around international and sustainable development? Then we have just the right postgraduate degree for you. Get inspired by alumna Marilia da Silva Alves who graduated with a Master of Sustainable Development (formerly: Master of International Development) in 2021.

Exploring the 17 Sustainable Development Goals set by the United Nations, which is a blueprint to achieve a better and more sustainable future, the Master of Sustainable Development covers society, economy and environment in the context of both developed and developing countries.

Students will learn about factors leading to poverty, gender inequality, reduced health, environmental vulnerability and fragile governance.

What made Marilia choose the Master of Sustainable Development

Marilia came to Flinders as an Australia Awards scholar from Timor-Leste with a specific idea in mind about what she wanted to get out of her postgraduate studies. “I came to Adelaide because Flinders is one of the top universities in the world, and the Master of Sustainable Development program at Flinders provides both technical skills and the theories to better understand various global development issues.

“As I came from a post-conflict country where poverty and inequality are still pervasive, studying Sustainable Development was a very good opportunity to sharpen my knowledge on development issues, especially around challenges faced by less developed countries like my home country Timor-Leste, and on how to contribute to policy development, creating a long-lasting positive impact to the society.

“One of my career goals is to engage more on a policy level by working as a consultant or adviser to support our government’s work towards achieving a more equal and inclusive society. I believed that my degree at Flinders University will help me achieve my goal.”

“I really enjoyed studying Sustainable Development at Flinders because all topics are very interesting and fit well with my experience. All lecturers have been amazing, and very supportive and there is always someone from the Uni support system that helps you make the most of your journey.

“Plus, Adelaide is just the most beautiful, affordable city. It will forever be a memorable city for me. I always dream of going back to Adelaide and studying at Flinders one day, for my PhD.”

Practical experience gained during the degree

“For me, the highlight of my postgraduate studies and my most outstanding achievement to date was completing my thesis on the review of the effectiveness of policy intervention in addressing domestic violence in Timor-Leste focusing on the implementation of the National Action Plan on Gender-Based Violence (NAP-GBV) in Timor-Leste.

“The Government of Timor-Leste, specifically the Secretary of State for Equality and Inclusion, entrusted me to revise and develop a new NAP-GBV for the country for the coming 10 years, 2022-2032. The draft of this policy has been presented to the Prime Minister and it will be presented to the Council of Ministries for discussions and final approval in the coming weeks. I felt very proud to be the first Timorese woman to develop the National Action Plan.”

Where a Master of Sustainable Management can take you

Graduating with the Master of Sustainable Development will open up a plethora of job opportunities. Marilia went down the path she had always wanted to.

“After returning home from Adelaide in August 2021, I got a job straight away. I have been working as an independent consultant as well as an adviser at several institutions including a UN agency, Government and DFAT-funded programs such as:

  • National Consultant for Monitoring and Evaluation of Gender-Based Violence and Child Protection in Emergencies, UNFPA Timor-Leste
  • National Consultant supporting the Secretary of State for Equality and inclusion (SEII) on the revision of Timor-Leste’s National Action Plan on Gender-Based Violence, Nabilan (DFAT funded program on ending Violence Against Women), The Asia Foundation Dili, Timor-Leste
  • National Consultant to conduct Assessment of Prospective Accredited Entities to apply for Green Climate Fund, Secretary of State for Environment
  • Gender Mainstreaming Adviser, Partnership for Human Development (PHD), Australia -Timor-Leste (my current job)

“Studying Sustainable Development at Flinders helped equip me with the confidence and critical thinking skills needed to advance my career in the development sector. The Sustainable Development program was the one best suited for my passion for integrating gender mainstreaming and social inclusion into all development programs that then lead to changes in society. Flinders always offered comprehensive support during my study when it came to shaping my future career and helping me get my dream jobs.”

Flinders postgraduate Sustainability degrees

Catering to the global boom in Sustainability, besides the Master of Sustainable Development, Flinders also offers the Master of Environmental Management and Sustainability as one of its postgraduate Sustainability degrees.

Interested in pursuing a similar career path as Marilia? The time is now. Make your mark and study postgraduate Sustainability.



Posted in
Postgraduate study Sustainability