Sam Shipley graduated with a Bachelor of Science from The University of Western Australia in 2015. He currently living in Canberra (since 2017).
Sam Shipley is an Assistant Director at the Australian Government Department of Education, Skills and Employment. He lives in Canberra, where he moved in 2017 to join a graduate program.
Sam is responsible for his department’s strategy relating to students with disability. His team is currently leading the 2020 Review of the Disability Standards for Education, which relate to how students with disability access and participate in education (including in preschools, schools, universities and vocational education and training). In other roles, Sam has managed STEM education projects and developed policies relating to literacy and numeracy.
Before he moved to Canberra, Sam worked at UWA and ran UWA’s Open Day. Prior to working at UWA, Sam was in the first WA cohort of the Teach For Australia program, where he worked as a science teacher at a school in outer Perth.
While studying a Bachelor of Science at UWA, Sam was involved in a number of student organisations. This included being President of Trinity College, Secretary of the UWA Student Guild and on the executive of the National Association of Australian University Colleges.
Sam's journey since UWA.
During my time at UWA, I was President of Trinity College, where I was a resident for three years. I was also Secretary of the UWA Student Guild in my final year of uni. I had great fun in these roles and met many people with whom I’m still friends today!
My favourite memories are of the social life at UWA – every week there were events to attend and I must have attended a dozen balls each year! I loved getting to run O-Week at Trinity College and throwing a party for 2000 people on Oak Lawn (featuring performances from Peking Duk).
What’s your passion and how do you want to make a difference in the world?
I am interested in social policy and in particular, education policy. I’m passionate about making sure that all Australian students receive a high-quality education – regardless of their background.
What is the most interesting aspect of your career? Where could it go from here?
The best part about working in the Australian Public Service (and in my department – the Department of Education, Skills and Employment) is that you have the opportunity to work on things that have a meaningful and direct impact on the lives of many Australians. The most interesting part is the variety of work – over a short number of years I’ve worked across a number of teams and countless policies and programs.
If you could share one piece of advice with a first year student, on their first day at UWA, what would it be?
Get involved and join a club or faculty society. (Also, ‘Music Ensemble’ is the best broadening unit you can pick!)