Catina Adams

I think of La Trobe Bundoora as my spirit place. I have spent most my adult life here – as an undergraduate Arts student, an administrative staff member, an undergraduate and postgraduate Nursing student, a research staff member, a sessional academic, and now a PhD student. I also have two sons studying here at La Trobe.

I started my first degree in 1982, and like many students at that time at La Trobe, I was the first in my family to attend university. I completed a BA(Hons) in English Literature and a Diploma in Education, however, during my final teaching round I decided that teaching was not for me.

I quickly decided that working in an office would much more fun if that office was in a university. I worked at the Faculty of Medicine at The University of Melbourne, and then returned to La Trobe, to work in the Faculty of Law and Management in its various iterations.

Having four children along the way, I was very grateful for generous maternity leave provisions and on-site child care. La Trobe was well ahead of its time in creating a family friendly workplace.

When I turned 40, my path changed. I was inspired to become a midwife and returned to undergraduate studies in nursing, followed by a midwifery diploma, and a Masters in Maternal and Child Health. A few years later, I worked for a year on a research project looking at supporting women experiencing family violence. And I had another baby.

Following a Churchill Fellowship in 2015, I have returned to full-time study as a PhD scholar at the Judith Lumley Centre. Support from groups such as PhD – OWLS (Older Wiser Learners), my excellent supervisors, and the Research team at La Trobe has made this transition less painful than it could have been.

I acknowledge the privilege of my opportunities. I am grateful, and what I am most grateful for is the outstanding education and work experiences provided by La Trobe that equipped me for lifelong learning.