Monash alumni Nick Staikos: from politics student to Parliament

Nick Staikos’ journey from politics student to Parliament highlights the practical utility of the many opportunities offered at Monash University.

Before graduating from Monash in 2009 with a Bachelor of Arts (Honours) in politics and sociology, Nick was an Intern in the Victorian Parliamentary Internship Program.

The Internship, offered to 3rd year politics students, provides students with the opportunity to research and write a substantial public policy piece under the supervision of a Member of Parliament. Nick’s piece detailed the diversity of long day care providers in Narre Warren South for MP Judith Graley.

For Nick, the appeal of the Program was the unique opportunity to ‘have a very deep insight into the parliamentary process’ in an undergraduate setting. Nick’s research included interviewing private childcare providers, members of local council and politicians. He also conducted a critical analysis of qualitative and quantitative data regarding the growth of day care centres months before the collapse of ABC Learning.

Since exploring the role of choice and diversity in regards to day care providers, Nick has chaired Godfrey Street Community House and helped establish a three-year-old kindergarten. Nick confirms ‘writing the Internship Report made sure I was better equipped for these policy decisions.’

In the five-year transition from the classrooms of Clayton to the corridors of Parliament Nick has maintained his interest in the Victorian Parliamentary Internship Program. However, his involvement is now from his new perspective as a Member of Parliament.

Nick is currently hosting his own Intern, Monash Arts/Law student Andrew Belyea-Tate, who is exploring the issue of social isolation amongst the elderly in Bentleigh and across Victoria. Andrew joined the Internship Program to ‘better understand the structure of the policy making process, and come to grips with a complex and important societal issue.’