Charles Sturt student follows financial crime studies to Cambridge, UK

17 JANUARY 2024

Charles Sturt student follows financial crime studies to Cambridge, UK

When Ms Olivia Baker left high school in Year 10 to escape bullying, she never imagined she would be entering the doors of Cambridge University to pursue a career fighting financial crimes.

The Charles Sturt University student has completed a Graduate Certificate of Fraud and Financial Crime, a Graduate Diploma in Fraud and Financial Crime and a Graduate Certificate in Anti-Money Laundering and Counter-Terrorist Financing.

Now Olivia is working towards completing the final pieces of the puzzle to earn her Masters of Fraud and Financial Crime, part of which saw her and nine other students fly to Cambridge University in the United Kingdom for an eight-day symposium on economic crime.

“It was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to expand my knowledge, gather research for my dissertation and network with industry professionals and fellow students with similar passions for solving and investigating financial crime,” Olivia said.

“It was incredible to be able to absorb so much global knowledge from experts in-person.”

The symposium took place in September 2023 as part of the United Kingdom, Cambridge International Experience Program where students heard from and engaged with more than 650 experts in financial crime, as well as networking with 2,000 attendees.

Growing up in Canley Vale, New South Wales, and now living in Glenmore Park, Olivia’s journey to get to where she is today has been challenging and rewarding.

“Unfortunately, in high school I was subjected to bullying and subsequently left at the beginning of Year 10,” she said.

“I finalised my high school learnings through TAFE NSW and continued my academic journey by becoming a Charles Sturt University student, where I commenced my tertiary study pathway in Fraud and Financial Crime.”

While it was challenging for Olivia to juggle the assignments and deadlines, she had learned to be resilient.

“From a young age, I pursued ballet until my late teenage years and as a result, I have become remarkably resilient, composed and patient when completing life tasks,” she said.

“I knew by applying myself and these skills, I would achieve everything I wanted and become the best version of myself.

“I also continually remind myself, especially in stressful times, that my school years, life and university journey has led me to achieve nothing but greatness as I move forward, never looking back.”

Along the way, Olivia also picked up another skill to reveal her more creative side.

“I’m actually a qualified makeup artist and have been for eight years,” she said.

“I enjoy the aptitude to enhance a woman’s features with nothing but pure radiance to showcase their natural beauty.

“It’s a great way to relax in the midst of what is an otherwise quite intense career path around financial crime.”

Her work in the cosmetic industry has also motivated Olivia to follow her own dreams through others she’s met along the way.

“I have crossed paths with many great women and developed long-term friendships,” she said.

“It has been inspirational to hear about their many different life journeys which I take on and apply to my own experiences, motivating me to be the best version of myself.”

Olivia also met with other inspiring women while on the Cambridge study tour, one of whom is Charles Sturt University’s Senior Lecturer and Discipline Lead in Financial Crime Studies in the Australian Graduate School of Policing and Security, Dr Jamie Ferrill.

Dr Ferrill led the tour to Cambridge and said the experience was invaluable for students both now and as they pursue their careers.

“Throughout the week, our group had the privilege of attending insightful presentations, interactive workshops and engaging discussions about the dynamics of international economic crime,” Dr Ferrill said.

“The diverse range of topics covered, from emerging trends in financial fraud and money laundering to the evolving landscape of cybercrime, provided our students with a comprehensive understanding of the challenges and complexities faced by global economies.

“What’s more, networking opportunities were abundant, including at the gala dinners, allowing our students to connect with scholars and practitioners from around the world and establish valuable contacts.”

Olivia echoed these sentiments and said the experience has helped provided a strong footing for her career goals.

“My ideal 10-year plan would be to complete a PhD in the money laundering field and pursue a Criminal Law degree,” she said.

“I aspire to accomplish these monumental undertakings, as learning brings me great pride and comfort in knowing I can accomplish anything I apply my heart to.”

Charles Sturt Global programs give students an international experience as part of their degree. From a six to 12-month exchange at an overseas university, to short-term study, faculty-led programs, internships or work placements, there are overseas opportunities to suit every student. 

For more information, visit the Charles Sturt website here or find us on Instagram and Facebook @charlessturtglobal  


Media Note:

For more information or to arrange an interview, contact Jessica McLaughlin at Charles Sturt Media on 0430 510 538 or via

PHOTO: Ms Olivia Baker outside Jesus College in Cambridge (L), and pictured with Dr Jamie Ferrill (R).

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