Professional Award recognises excellence as a young professional across any intelligence sector. It is open to all Australian intelligence professionals who are full or associate members of AIPIO and aged 35 years and younger and/or with less than five years of experience in the profession.
Ms Meagan Goodwin (pictured) graduated with a Master of Intelligence Analysis in the Charles Sturt Australian Graduate School of Policing and Security, and was also included in the Executive Dean’s List for outstanding academic performance.
“I admire all those contributing to the intelligence profession, either through their work or through formal publications, as their contribution has been what has helped shape our field to where it is today,” Meagan said.
She is based in Brisbane and currently works as a Senior Intelligence Analyst for Transport and Main Roads Queensland as part of a small team delivering services to a compliance function.
“This is a little untraditional but compliance is one of the challenging and rapidly growing areas for intelligence,” Meagan said.
“For a small team, the variety of work is both very broad and challenging, from operational and strategic analysis to maintaining IT systems and building data analytic capability.”
Meagan was nominated for the award by her manager (also a Charles Sturt graduate) and the submission was based on her skills, attitude, passion, work ethic, and standard of work. The nomination noted:
‘… Meagan has achieved consistently above and beyond her business as usual work. … (her) intelligence work has always been to a high standard, on time, providing actionable recommendations. Her strategic analytic skills and the application of techniques are better than many more experienced practitioners. Meagan’s work ethic is outstanding, her ability to relate and work with teams makes her the type of analyst any manager would be happy to have. As an intelligence practitioner of a young age, Meagan’s skills, attitude, application to her work and passion for intelligence are well in excess of her years. Meagan is a valuable asset and worthy of nomination and recognition. I have every confidence her skills will develop, and she will be a leader of the future.’
Meagan gained a passion for intelligence when she did her first intelligence subject while completing her Bachelor degree. Upon graduation, she obtained a job in the Australian Public Service, where her second rotation was in an intelligence team.
“I knew straight away ‘intelligence’ is where I wanted to be,” she said. “I love working in intelligence – it is something I see myself doing forever, and I would love to apply my skillset across the profession in different areas of intelligence,” she said.
She chose to study at Charles Sturt because she wanted a formal postgraduate qualification specific to intelligence in order to expand and future-proof her skillset in a field challenged by rapid technological change and an exponential increase in data.
“I also wanted to maintain my expertise in a field experiencing significant growth with a high demand for skilled intelligence professionals,” she said.
“I enjoyed my Charles Sturt University study because the content was relevant and my lecturers were really knowledgeable, and it has already helped me progress in my career.”
Meagan has juggled her career and study with being a parent to three boys.
“When I first started university (studying a Bachelor of Justice at Queensland University of Technology), I was a young mum and my eldest son was only six months old,” she said.
“I had my second son during my Bachelor’s degree, and my last son was born during my first Master’s degree (a Master of Criminology and Criminal Justice from Griffith University).
“I have worked full-time since I first got my graduate job that started my career, so it has been quite challenging at times, although the flexibility and support of a modern workplace has been great in balancing work, study and family.
“My family, friends and work colleagues have always been a great support throughout my career. My mum has always inspired me and encouraged me to always do something I love, and my husband has been my rock, and without him by my side I wouldn’t be where I am now.
“If you're reading this and you’re thinking ‘I couldn’t do that’, you can. It’s hard work for sure, but you learn so much, you open doors of opportunity, you meet amazing people and when you get to the end you can look back with pride that you did it.”
Meagan graduated from Charles Sturt earlier this year during the COVID-19 lockdown.
“But instead of crossing the stage to ‘doff my graduation cap’ to the Chancellor and receive my degree, I celebrated my accomplishment over Skype with my team,” she said.
“They surprised me and invited Professor Tracey Green (Executive Dean of the Charles Sturt Faculty of Business, Justice and Behavioural Sciences) and Senior Lecturer in the AGSP&S Mr Graham Sunderland to the virtual morning tea.
“I dressed up and posed in my graduation gown with my electronic testamur (my degree arrived in the mail a week later), and then had a nice dinner at home.”