After completing a Bachelor of Applied Science, Ade found work as a tax auditor and discovered a new career path. His next step was a Master of Tax as a part of the Melbourne Law Masters program, which led him to his current role as a Junior Public Policy Analyst for the Indonesian Directorate General of Taxation.
“Prior to studying at Melbourne Law School, I worked as a tax auditor in Indonesia for four years,” Ade said. In this role, Ade was “expected to be skilled in spotting incorrect appliance of tax rules” – a difficult task considering his non-legal background, but he was up for the challenge. “I tried my best to keep up with the expectations, and found myself getting more interested in tax law,” he said.
He knew he had found something he wanted to pursue, so he started researching masters programs. His colleagues were an important source of information. “Melbourne Law School became my first choice, because it had a good reputation among my fellow tax auditors,” he explained.
At first, Ade’s studies were fully online due to the pandemic. However, “the experience was far from disappointing,” he said. “The lecturers and staff were all very responsive and helpful, even though there were some obstacles, like the time zones differences.”
Towards the end of his degree, Ade made it to Melbourne at last. “After I finally managed to get into Australia, I could experience how good it was to study in the library with a cup of coffee and have face-to-face meetings,” he enthused. “My most memorable moment was when I was finally able to present during my only offline subject in my education journey. I was delivering a presentation about the tax treatment of gifts, and the professor and all of my classmates were very supportive. This experience really boosted my confidence.”
Another great source of support was the Ian Malkin Centre for Legal Academic Skills. Ade benefited greatly from the writing drop-ins and classes taught by Associate Professor Chantal Morton. “The writing drop-ins really helped me understand how to write more effectively and efficiently. The writing classes were also very helpful, and she taught the materials very well. Her advice and lessons helped me not only during my studies, but also in my career as a junior analyst.”
Now working as a Junior Public Policy Analyst for Indonesia’s tax authority, Ade finds that the Master of Tax has prepared him well for his role. “My work is related to creating, abolishing, or harmonising the current tax rules for an intended purpose. The course helped me prepare by enabling students to have free discussion and critical thinking around problems.”
He continued, “In a practical way, my degree helps me to be more critical towards tax policies implemented in my country. Most of the time, I can learn from how Australia tackles the same problem and draw comparisons from that. Then I can analyse whether the policy being implemented is the most suitable for that matter. The course also helped me to be more effective in delivering the results of my research, either as a written legal opinion or an oral presentation.”
Ade also found that the program helped him solidify his future goals and aspirations. “Before I completed the Master of International Tax Law, I didn’t have a clear vision about what I wanted to be in the future. It wasn’t until after I took the course and engaged in studying tax more deeply that I set my goal to be a researcher, especially in tax policies. In the future, I hope to pursue further study and fulfil my dream to be an adept researcher.”
In conclusion, Ade offered the following advice to future students: “Keep going and trust the process!”