Tag Archives: 1990

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.

Peter Jarvis

Sitting in the Agora on a rare Melbourne’s sunny day. I talk to the music students; Michelle, the ‘little red haired girl’ from Doncaster, Janelle, the Principal’s daughter from Yarrawonga, Pete, who drives an old pink car, and James, who is an older student and has a striking resemblance to Barney Rubble. This was not an unusual way to start the day at La Trobe.

Later, I go to a lecture; Peace Studies with Tom Webber. A fantastic lecturer who understood the value of searching for questions rather than just answers. Here, I sit with the quiet but brilliant girl from Menzies College and the Vietnam War veteran who has returned to study.

After lunch, I have a zoology prac. They always felt like they went on forever. My prac partners; a ranger from Parks Victoria with an unusual name, and a girl from the country who lived in Chisholm college and had a passion form James Taylor music.

Then it was time to avoid the temptation of the Union Bar as I walked back to the motorcycle car park and started my journey home.

While I didn’t love the distance I had to travel to get to La Trobe each day, the diversity of experiences and friends that I made while I was there is something that I will treasure forever. It has been 20 years and I have lost contact with most of them by now, our lives have all gone in different directions.

I don’t think Tom was surprised when I graduated and joined the police force. Many years later, I am now a teacher and it is my turn to share a passion for learning and inquiry with the students that I teach…

I Gede Ketut Adiputra

When I was small, Melbourne was a name that I heard almost every morning since my parents were very fond of listening to news from Radio Australia.

About 20 years afterward, I was very grateful when IDP provided a scholarship to me to study in Melbourne.

La Trobe University was an excellent place to learn a lot, from languages, lab, scientific publication and multi cultural policy. I’d love to visit Melbourne again.

Sue O’Sullivan

I began studying at La Trobe University (Bendigo) in 1988 as a mature age student. I wasn’t planning to do a degree course but was interested in studying literature.

Through my association with former La Trobe Bendigo tutor, Rod Blackhirst, I was acquainted with Studies in Western Traditions (SWT) which led me on to begin a bachelor’s degree. SWT was a wonderful course with such learned lecturers as Roger Sworder, Maurie Nestor, and Harry Oldmeadow. They inculcated in me the love of learning and I continued on to an Honours degree and eventually a Master of Arts degree. These studies have stood me in such good stead which add enormously to my subsequent involvement in the Queensland Art Gallery where I am a tour guide.

I continue to regularly converse with other former mature age students and we often discuss our studies and experiences of those years. We all agree that it was a special time of our lives.

Shane Saunderson

I came back to La Trobe as a mature aged student (late 20s) to undertake an Arts degree.

After spending 10 years in retail management in Melbourne, I decided there has got to be more to life than retail. I applied for a course through Bendigo campus and got in after sitting an entry exam. I completed the course part-time (over 4 years) while working four different casual/part-time jobs.

One position was with the Centre for Sustainable Communities which was based at La Trobe Bendigo. As a result of completing my degree and subsequent postgraduate studies in Planning and Community Development I have been able to change my field of work.

I believe going back to university has been a life changing decision. The transferable skills and confidence you obtain through completing a degree you just can’t get anywhere else. I now believe I can do anything I set my mind to, and if I want it bad enough I will make it happen. This is a most auspicious year, as La Trobe turns 50, I also find myself turning 50. So here’s cheers to La Trobe and myself, may we both see another 50 (+) years.

Evelyn Chan

My heartfelt thanks to La Trobe University for an amazing and awesome university experience.

I’m from Malaysia and being an international student in an entirely different country is no joke for a 19 year old. I’ve spent four enriching years at La Trobe in Australia.

Lectures and tutorials complement each other and are fitting in terms of learning and understanding for an international student like me. I had the opportunity to befriend other people from around the world through La Trobe University’s International Students’ Association, and I was later elected into the committee. While serving in the International Students’ Association, I learned so much more about La Trobe, about Australia, and about the friendly local Australians.

I’ve developed lifelong relationships and acquired lifelong skills while studying at La Trobe. And so, I want to say, “Happy Birthday La Trobe!” Thank you for making an impact in my life!

P.S. Here’s the bonus: I met my wonderful husband at La Trobe!

Wendy Rowe

There’s a saying in French that you must experience the taste of vinegar to appreciate honey. La Trobe gave me some of the finest honey I’ve ever tasted, with the occasional shot of vinegar for good measure.

On my first day at La Trobe University, clubs had bordered the Agora with tables covered in membership sign-up forms and artwork. I had just given in to the lure of the Chocolate Club when a noise behind me prompted me to turn to see a man standing in the grassy centre of the Agora, holding the Australian flag. I don’t remember what he was shouting about because the flames coming off the flag had my full attention. He was burning my flag and I had never felt so passionate and outraged by a single act. Two students overpowered the man while a third used an fire extinguisher on the flag, and student life went on as usual.

The emotions stirred by that moment were my awakening from my sleepy school years. Here I was at La Trobe University, where I was allowed to be angry, happy, lazy, flamboyant, serious, and anything else I wanted to be – without anyone minding. To question was expected, not brave, and I’ve lived by that decree ever since.

Education is so much more than passing exams, and the life lessons I learnt at La Trobe gave me the tools I needed to embark on my life’s journey.

Ross Schnioffsky

One of my most enjoyable experiences at La Trobe University was as an organiser and participant of the 2016 ASSC Study Tour to southern USA.

It was truly wonderful to work and spend time with many motivated and intelligent students.

Dan Walding

All I ever wanted to do was be a scientist and learn another language. Specifically to be a geologist and learn Spanish. I loved dinosaurs, planets, and volcanoes. And I’d read in surfing magazines about the perfect waves in South America, and something about all the women being beautiful!

So off I went, it was 1991 and I was a green 17 year old with an admission slip to La Trobe. I was excited, apprehensive, and a bit bewildered. I remember the first issue of Rabelais had a picture of a haunted house on the cover with the caption: “La Trobe University – abandon all hope ye who enter here!” What was I in for?

I took geology, Spanish, archaeology, philosophy, and I forget what else. The archaeologists were at pains to tell us that “It’s not like Indiana Jones!” (they were right). The philosophers kept banging on about cats in boxes. The Spanish lecturers tried doggedly to teach us how to roll our ‘r’s and conjugate the verb ‘to go’. The geology lecturers all had beards (way before it was hip), but they were cool because they drank the most beer.

Since I was a kid from the coast, I lived on campus. I had three colleges to choose from and chose Chisholm because on the map it seemed to be closest to the Union Bar. Really! What crazy days. Lectures in the ELT, lunch in the Ag, drinks in the Union Bar, SWOTVAC in Borchardt Library, and blisters on my finger from three hour exams in the Union Hall. And, of course, O Week, bar night, College balls, the Ring Road relay, and the rumour about the nuclear fall out shelter deep beneath La Trobe. I still don’t know if it’s true or not.

Four years later and I had an Honours degree in geology, and fairly ordinary Spanish. Twenty-six years later and I still work as a geologist, have visited over 70 countries, and am married to a beautiful Colombian. I guess the Spanish paid off!

So thanks La Trobe! Happy 50th!

Gregory Johnson

Thanks to the patience of La Trobe I finally received my MBA in Technology Management after 11 years’ part-time and remote study!

I did exams in Tokyo and in Hamilton, New Zealand and when my daughter was born on the day of one of the exams, I had to defer and re-sit the exam 6 months later.

We moved to live and work in Japan, and as we lived in a hotel with a new baby for a few weeks, I was using the hotel business centre to study for my law exam. As an engineer, law was a real struggle for me, lots and lots and lots of reading. As I sat there looking worried, an Englishman came over and said, “I see your studying law”. “Yes, a struggle”. He said “Nothing to it, there is Statute, Tort and Contract, that is all you need to remember”. Apologies to my MBA law lecturer, but at that moment everything was clarified. I went the next week to the Australian Embassy in Tokyo to take the exam, and got a High Distinction (when I was fearing a failing grade).

Eventually, I had to apply for an extension of time (due to baby mentioned before), but I graduated ranked 2nd overall in my MBA year.

Thanks to La Trobe and the unknown Englishman in Tokyo. (Of course, and thanks to my wife who suffered much more than me during my MBA studies.)