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Politics in Paradise

Picture of Charles Huggins

Charles Huggins

2022 Mannkal Alumnus

After a memorable previous 4 weeks which included the Australian Open, Big Bash and seeing some of Melbourne’s big ticket items I was looking forward to what the final three weeks will bring. In my final weeks I was fortunate enough to be able to expand my research into many different areas. I spent time looking into prison reform and specifically methods that reduce incarceration rates and reduce costs. It was very interesting studying different crime rates across different areas and looking into historical stats over time. I also spent some time assisting members of the research team on their field trip to Tamworth and surrounding areas. I spend time analysing the largest employers in the region and how they would be affected by changes in emission laws. It was interesting exploring the effect government policy can have on different regions especially rural areas. It was very exciting to see the research I had done be used by the research team on their trip and to be a key part in helping the IPA spread its policies.  

Another key research highlight was looking into the history of voting patterns in Victorian state and federal elections. I have a strong interest in politics and I found it very interesting to analyse the changing voting patterns over time and use the data to form some interesting conclusions.  

The IPA is a very professional and fast paced working environment which I very much enjoyed. I experienced the fast paced nature first hand when changes to Superannuation policy were announced and how the organisation reacted with speed and efficiency. It was cool to see that the Prime Minister Anthony Albanese mentioned the IPA’s research. 


Charles at the MCG press room.

The IPA taught me many things which I will use for the rest of my professional life. My first one would be the importance of fact checking as it looks amateurish to misquote things or publish ideas that are not properly justified. In a workspace the importance of communication whether it be letting your supervisor know how you are progressing or asking questions if you are unsure. I also learnt the importance of networking within the office as its important to build relationships with different people as they have skills that can assist you and vice versa. It also creates a good culture within the organisation if people work together effectively. I tried to do this when I first got to the IPA and that was always getting coffee with colleagues, getting around social club and participating in social events.  

On the last day we had the usual social club but with a twist they organised to have WA beers and food which was exciting. Some of the Melbournians didn’t warm to the WA beers that much but everyone got around it and it was a great way to end my time at the IPA.  

I thoroughly enjoyed my time at the IPA, I learnt many new skills which I will apply going forward in my professional life. I would like to thank Mannkal for providing this fantastic opportunity and it’s something I will remember for the rest of my life.  

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