The Brighton Council in southern Tasmania is a long way from his homeland of Colombia but Andres Perez-Roca thinks the move was one of best things he ever did.

Originally from Medellin, Colombia, Andre moved to Tasmania in 2020 specifically to study his Master of Planning at the University of Tasmania.

“I heard about the University of Tasmania in 2019. At the time, I was living in Colombia, and I met two representatives of the University of Tasmania there.

“We had a chat about possible career prospects, and six months later, I was on a plane to Tassie.”

Andres already held a Bachelor of Laws and a Graduate Diploma of international Business and Finance from Colombia’s Universidad de La Sabana and had studied his Master of Business Administration (MBS) through Australia’s Victoria University.

With interests in sustainability and social justice, he saw the University of Tasmania as the perfect place to support his research thesis on enhancing liveability in disadvantaged communities through the Master of Planning course.

“My experience at the University of Tasmania has been an overall positive one,” Andres said.

Lecturers are well prepared and very approachable. Lecturers also invite guest lecturers that usually are people with extensive experience in their fields.

Andres said the student experience was also excellent outside of the classroom. He was an active member of the UTAS Zero Waste Society, a society created to encourage the university community to live a zero-waste lifestyle.

He recalled a particularly enjoyable trip to South Cape Bay with the group.

“We had the opportunity to clean up three beaches and see lots of pademelons. A word of advice: If you camp at South Cape Bay, do not leave any unattended food inside your tent, or pademelons will break into your tent!

“You can also create a club or society. For instance, I co-created the UTAS Planning Society, a community of UTAS students interested in planning-related topics and the development of sustainable cities and regions.”

And his efforts at immersing himself in Tasmania’s community and environment paid off when he had the opportunity to take on a Graduate Planning Officer role at Brighton Council during his studies.

And after graduation, he continued on at the Council as a fully qualified Planning Officer.

In this role, I have had the opportunity to expand and put into practice the planning knowledge gathered during my course. I think that my Master of Planning studies played an important role in opening that door.

Andres said he would recommend studying in Tasmania to anyone and encouraged prospective interstate or international to seriously consider the University of Tasmania.

“I think that I could not have chosen a better place to live and continue to grow personally and professionally. This island and its beautiful people have offered me so much!”

For more information about the Master of Planning visit utas.edu.au/study/planning