Finally - after a full year of working on my thesis, I've passed my Candidature Milestone. It is basically an oral presentation/examination to a panel of academics to confirm that I'm a legitimate PhD student - and now ready to proceed with the data gathering stage of my thesis. Aside from the oral exam, readiness is also assessed through passing ethics training certificates, submitting research ethics procedures (as I'm doing ethnographic research mine was 40 pages (!) and took 5 months to make) research strategies training, research integrity training, data management training and a host of other criteria. For now, my thesis is titled 'Participation as Inhabitation: Towards a theory of designer-citizens in post-disaster housing reconstruction'.
Image 1. My conference presentation poster.
The examination was held on a Sunday morning, the worst time really to invite people to an academic event - especially in Melbourne where people don't like to work on weekends, as much as possible. I'm really glad though that I have fantastic fellow Filipino PhD scholar friends in Melbourne wiling to give up their Sunday morning for my milestone: Neslie Tan, Nina Araneta, Bonita Cabiles and partner Sev.
Image 2: With my support group of fellow Filipino PhD scholar friends post-presentation: Nes, Bonita and Nina.
Getting through the examination was more anticlimactic than I expected. Nope, no choir of angels or victory anthems in my head - just the overwhelming realisation that I had committed to big things in that presentation and now I actually have to do them!