Desmond Ko

Des Ko
Assistant Director
Australian Government Department of Finance

About Desmond

I grew up in Hong Kong and came to Canberra set on studying to be a lifelong academic like my Dad. Instead, I graduated from ANU with undergraduate degrees in Science and Law and a Master of Public Policy from the Crawford School. Along the way, I served as a Resident Tutor at Bruce Hall, got elected to the ANU Students’ Association twice and ran Inward Bound three times.
I now provide advice to Ministers and the Cabinet on policy and its financial implications at the Department of Finance. I have worked across the Australian Public Service in policy, regulatory, governance and legal advice roles. I have also served as a ministerial policy and communications adviser to three cabinet ministers. I continue to be involved in the ANU community as a tutor at the ANU College of Law.

Area of study

I studied a Bachelor of Science majoring in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology. I also studied a Bachelor of Laws where I completed an Honours thesis on Human Rights Acts in Australia.

Epic fail

I replied all to a very large e-mail list. I have not replied-all to any email since.

Proudest moment

Graduation Day at Llewellyn Hall, with family and friends celebrating our time together and our achievements in completing a fantastic chapter of our lives.

Top tip

Don’t forget to maintain the relationships you form in the ANU Community and treasurer these alongside the skills you learn, as these are the most valuable and enduring aspects of a higher education.