Education Officer (research)

Mia Spizzica


The Education Officer (research) is responsible for liaising with appropriate bodies in relation to issues
pertaining to coursework postgraduates of Monash
University and ensuring that the concerns of researchpostgraduates are brought to the attention of the MPAEC.

Click here for the Education (research) Officer's full position description.


Being a mature-age research candidate has been no barrier to working for the HDR community at Monash University. My background shows that life-long learning has no age limit! I grew up in an extended Italian migrant family with grandparents who had no formal education and parents who had only primary schooling.

As a woman of migrant background, I have challenged every gender, social class, and ethnic barrier that arose during my education journey. Along the way, I’ve surmounted, many although not all, glass ceilings, stonewalls, and closed doors that have been barriers to achieving my education and career goals. As a CALD migrant woman, I overcame many challenges to achieve my first degree in Social Science at La Trobe University, a Master in Education at Melbourne and Master in Counselling at Monash. These were followed by a number of graduate certificates and diplomas to keep my brain working at full speed every day of every year.

Pushing water up hill much of the way, here I am almost at the top of the hill, now completing my doctorate in the Faculty of Arts. My experiences demonstrate that it’s never too late to achieve educational dreams. I am so pleased to be elected as part of the MPAEC because my experience as well as understanding of current postgraduate research issues at Monash can facilitate other research students to achieve the best outcome possible.

Improving HDR candidates’ learning experience is my main aim as Education Officer (Research). With my MPAEC colleagues, I offer the postgraduate community my best efforts to enhance HDR candidates’ learning environment to improve their research outcomes at Monash University.


My doctorate explores the experiences of Italian migrants as enemy aliens in Australia during World War Two. The aim is to understand how individuals, families, and communities who come from nations at war with Australia experienced emergency security measures, including surveillance and internment during a time of war. This research illustrates how war can adversely affect diverse communities both in short-and long-term. The aim is to inform us in the present how to avoid similar scenarios in the future.

Personal interests

As a research candidate, I would love to have more time to go dancing, do artwork, knitting, go to concerts, go walking, camping, make exotic organic home-made fruit jams, and go on cafes crawls with friends. When I have time out from my research, I love walking my Tibetan spaniel with friends and family, being a foster carer, elder carer and volunteer Justice of the Peace in the local community.

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Executive Committee

Frequently asked questions

If you are wondering what is involved in being a committee member, or about the annual election process, vist our Committee FAQ page and our election process FAQ page. Committee members are also occasionally co-opted to a position.

MPAEC Cooptions

Sometimes postgraduate members on the MPA Executive Committee complete their studies and leave Monash University part-way through their term of office on the MPAEC. Where a vacancy arises on the MPAEC between annual elections, postgraduates can be coopted to the committee. For information about the cooption process, email the MPA Executive Officer, Jenny Reeder.

Cooption application download