Jacqueline Payne

Growing up in Sydney there were not a lot of choices in studying media. After trying a university in Sydney, I researched and discovered La Trobe was offering the first intake of a new media degree the following year.

The first time I’d been on a plane was to fly down and complete my enrolment, and, as soon as I walked into the Bundoora campus, I knew I had made the right choice. I elected to stay on campus at Menzies College during my first year and I made some incredible friends. The degree was small, personalised, and incredibly empowering as it allowed the choice of elective subjects. I majored in Radio Production and completed Cinema Studies as a minor. My time at La Trobe was incredible, especially the friendships I made. In January of this year, I went on a cruise with my Menzies next door neighbour and, just last night, I met up with another La Trobe graduate to have dinner as he was in Sydney for the week.

After the first year at Menzies, I shared a house in Thornbury with other La Trobe students and we made full use of the many social adventures on offer. Every Thursday we went to bar night at the Eagle Bar, we spent many days sitting in the Agora between lectures drinking coffee, and made full use of the student services and facilities. Often there would be a “keg” on and I can’t imagine that in this day and age that would still be the case but, for all of us, experiencing the first taste of independence La Trobe was a safe, inclusive, and welcoming place. I made wonderful friends from all over the world, many of whom I am still in contact with and I have many friends who met at La Trobe and later married, welcoming little La Trobe babies to the world. It was a magical time and a magical place and it enriched the tapestry of my life so much. It was much more than a university, it was a way of living, and speaking to acquaintances about their own university days, I know that those who attended La Trobe had a very fortunate experience.

My own son is now fifteen and starting to consider his own tertiary options and, although we live in Sydney, he, too, is drawn to the courses and lifestyle La Trobe offers. After graduating from La Trobe, I went on to retrain in education and now am Head of English at a high school in Sydney. I would definitely consider further studies at La Trobe if the opportunity arose as many of my friends who have gone on to complete their degrees have done it at La Trobe. We had a lot of fun, fantastic lecturers, and a truly unique experience at La Trobe, and for that I am very thankful.