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Mariyam Hamsha Hussain: Contributing to development through architecture and design

Posted: 18 December 2018

Maldives, Private Sector,

For Mariyam Hamsha Hussain, being an Australia Awards recipient was a life-changing experience. She credits her Scholarship not only for the opportunity to travel and study outside of her country for the first time in her life, but also for the personal and professional growth she gained as a result. Hamsha is confident that her Australia Awards experience will be instrumental in helping her achieve her ultimate goal of contributing towards the development of her home country – the Maldives – through architecture and design.

Travelling to Australia in 2013 to undertake her Bachelor in Architectural Design at RMIT in Melbourne for three years was the first time Hamsha had lived outside the Maldives.

Before receiving her Australia Awards Scholarship, she had worked in a private company as a draftsperson after completing an Advanced Certificate in Residential Drafting in the Maldives. Following her return from Australia after completing her bachelor’s degree, she was promoted to the position of Architect in the same company.

“Now my work includes design and drafting of commercial, multi-residential and resort projects in the Maldives. Gaining a Scholarship represented the only opportunity for me to go abroad to pursue tertiary studies in architecture,” says Hamsha.

Studying Architectural Design at RMIT also gave her the confidence in her newfound abilities to work at any architectural firm. Although she intended to look for better prospects when she returned from Australia in 2015, she decided to stay with the same company – a longstanding firm with an excellent reputation – once she was offered the better position of Architect.

In her new role, Hamsha was given increased responsibilities and more interesting design work. During the time she studied in Australia, she had developed her confidence, knowledge and presentation skills, which helped her to communicate better and prepare more effective presentations – a vital skill set at her workplace. When designing projects, she is now responsible for managing the complete project itself, and Hamsha feels she is now much better qualified in project management as a result of her study in Australia.

“Work experience in Australia provided me with direct exposure to the practical field of architectural design. The knowledge of how to use the software available at RMIT had enabled me to do 3D designs when I returned home,” says Hamsha.

Being abroad by herself also made her more disciplined and built her management skills. Hamsha settled into the Australian culture and lifestyle very easily, finding the community in Australia casual and multicultural. “The Australian experience taught me to be responsible and to become an independent learner. It was easy to fit into life in Melbourne,” says Hamsha.

In the future, Hamsha hopes to work full-time as a freelance architect once she completes her master’s degree. Hamsha says, “I believe I can contribute more to the Maldives’ development by working freelance and perhaps also contribute to the country’s future by teaching architecture and design. All this was made possible thanks to the Australia Awards Scholarship.”