I deliberately chose La Trobe University’s Albury-Wodonga campus as it was close to my home town and offered a science degree with practical subjects that would help in my career path. What I didn’t realize was that this degree would ignite a passion for Environmental Science that still burns bright in me today which I attribute to lecturers Dr Phil Suter and Dr Cath Methereal, and also introduced me to my husband to be and life long friends!
I completed a Bachelor of Science (Environmental Management and Ecology) with Honours (H1) in 1998. I have since used this experience and qualifications in various roles with the Murray Darling Freshwater Research Centre, Qld Department of Natural Resources, Qld Environmental Protection Agency, and in my current position as Manager Safety, Risk and Environment for Dalrymple Bay Coal Terminal.
Some people cringe when I say I’m an Enviro working at a coal terminal with the climate change debate, however, this is the very reason I am in this role. I have three little boys who love fishing, camping, kayaking, and snorkeling over the Reef so it is imperative that I do everything I can (including using all my Science/Environmental Management knowledge) to ensure that we are leading the way in sustainable practices working within the GBR WHA.
I’m grateful that the time I spent at La Trobe studying science gave me the opportunity to learn not only the subject matter, but also how to develop the soft skills I need to lead, influence, motivate, and empower people to get tangible outcomes. And I’m still happily married to a fellow La Trobe University science graduate!
As second year Podiatry students, we would look for any opportunity to be outside on a sunny autumn Melbourne day. Our Biomechanics lecturer may or may not have seen the same opportunity (or we were driving her nuts, something my year was a tad notorious for), so we were sent outside for a practical session involving a polaroid camera and instructions to capture certain body movements.
A group photo taken in Lincoln Square
Once this task was completed to the minimum requirement, we made the most of having a camera and snapped some group photos that I still look back on with fondness. Showing my age, but these were the days before mobile phones, let alone camera phones, so this was a rare moment.
A group photo taken at the Lincoln School of Health Sciences
One of my partners in crime in these photos remains my best friend to this day, and we often reflect on the fun times and friendships we made at La Trobe, while being extremely grateful the ‘fun’we had was before the days of social media.
Back in 1991, we met in the first year of our undergraduate study in the La Trobe University/Lincoln School of Health Sciences Bachelor of Science (Occupational Therapy) degree. At that time, we couldn’t have imagined the technology advances we would see, including the inception and development of the smartphone.
However, 25 years later, below is our ‘selfie’ as we departed Australia travelling to Asia in 2016 for a silver anniversary celebration of a friendship group formed at La Trobe.
Libby with the friends she met at La Trobe University
We have all gone on to work in health, rehabilitation, and education. We work with premature babies, children with disabilities, people experiencing road trauma or cancer and – for some of us – with the future Occupational Therapy graduates of La Trobe University.
We have been able to make a real difference to the lives of others through our La Trobe training and our ongoing careers. As importantly, La Trobe University has made an amazing difference to our lives by giving us lifelong friendships formed through our undergraduate Occupational Therapy studies.
Thank you La Trobe and happy anniversary to you, too!
Strolling back to Glenn College one sunny day from class, I suddenly heard sounds of students screaming and running in my direction…It’s crazy to think how much the world has changed since my university days some 25 years ago. Now if I was to hear a group of people screaming loudly, I would immediately think of violence, but in those days I had no idea, what could bring such fear to my fellow students…
Being a first in family university student, daughter of migrants, and from country Victoria (triple barrier rating), university and college life opened up my mind and world. I soaked up every opportunity. I was so proud to belong there that I bought a red La Trobe University jumper and wore it like a peacock, especially back in hometown, Tatura. (My brother teased me relentlessly saying the jumper must have been the only top I had in my wardrobe!)
My favourite subject was Japanese and I credit all my teachers, but especially Dr Kaori Okano who instilled in me a love of her home country’s language and culture. I was fortunate to gain a scholarship from La Trobe University to travel to Japan on exchange for three months. The experience was simply mind-blowing, so much that it led to a Japanese major, becoming a language teacher, bringing my own students to Japan on a school trip, doing PR for the Japanese trade commission in Melbourne. In short, a portfolio of wonderful careers and jobs.
In fact, in 2012, I returned to La Trobe University for one year as a School Partnerships Officer, involving the establishment of faculty workshops for future ‘first in family’ students to experience from local secondary schools. What a thrill to be able to give back to La Trobe University!
That day when I heard those piercing screams, I inquisitively looked up to see some wild geese from the moat chasing and pecking angrily at the students. Although traumatic at the time – yes, I did join them in running away from danger – I always laugh when I think of that. Life at La Trobe University was always full of surprises!
I joined LaTrobe’s School of Economics in 1992.
Since I graduated in 1995, I had worked in both public and private sector in different sector of the economy.
Alexander at his graduation
I am currently working in the private sector in my hometown as a Marketing Manager in serving my community in Sibu and the State of Sarawak on Borneo Island.
Memories at La Trobe include the mass service on Sunday evening conducted by a priest at one of the hall on campus and I treasured the moment that shaped me to be who I am today, in particular, with reference to my spiritual life as a Roman Catholic church faithful.
When I was studying Arts/Law at La Trobe University (1999-2003), I was fortunate enough to undertake two exchange programs. The first destination was Tilburg, NL. I chose subjects such as International Criminal Law and History of European law, as well as beginners Dutch. The friendships I made were life changing as I spent the next few years visiting friends in Dublin, Helsinki, Rome and Budapest.
The second exchange was a scholarship program to Kyoto Tachibana University in Japan. During this exchange, I studied Japanese Constitutional Law and, of course, Japanese language and culture. Now that I have three small children, I enjoy taking them overseas and sharing my love of travel and language.
I feel that these two exchange programs changed my life for the better. They enriched my sense of self, as well as giving me a break from the pressures of a five year degree. I was always be thankful to La Trobe University for allowing me to take these opportunities as an undergraduate.
I remember enthusiastically enrolling in a subject called ‘Sex, Crime and the Criminal Mind’ during my Bachelor of Behavioural Science as I was very interested in Criminology at the time.
Dr Adrian Howe gave the first lecture and all my preconceived ideas on the ‘criminal mind’ were turned on their head.
For the very first time, I was exposed to, and relished in, the challenges Dr Howe made to the current ideologies on that topic. My eyes were opened and I loved every minute of the subject although it was completely different to what I had initially expected.
The learnings from that subject still influence how I think today and I believe it is a wonderful example of how university opens the minds of all that are fortunate enough to experience it.
I commenced studying at La Trobe in 1990 as a slightly older student of 22. Whilst determined to enjoy the full student experience, I had also given up a full time wage to study, so I was determined to maximise the benefits of studying. Rather than just concentrating on maths, I also studied some related subjects offered by the Philosophy and Economics departments.
I met a few fellow card enthusiasts also studying statistics. I don’t think any of us have been caught counting cards at the casino – well, not yet! Our enjoyment of playing didn’t stop during lectures (there are advantages to being up the back of the ELT rooms!). We only gave ourselves away once when there was a ridiculous bid during a game of 500. Combining those card tournaments with a lunchtime game of table tennis at the Sports Centre and bar nights on a Thursday ensured a lot of fun memories. The serious side, however, meant that there were a number of evenings leaving the Library at closing time. I was also fortunate enough to meet my future wife whilst at La Trobe, so I also managed to gain a periphery experience of college life at Glenn.
Craig in Islay, Scotland
After graduating, I began working for a Management Consultancy in Sydney, and was fortunate enough to work across a number of different industries: spending time in banks, telecoms, coal mines, steelworks, and transport companies. The work also enabled me to work all over Australia and South East Asia.
Following a short stint at a bank, I then joined a movie studio, working with their theatrical, home entertainment, and television distribution teams throughout the Asia Pacific region. This prompted me to learn basic Japanese and Mandarin, so I had a clue as to what was going on during meetings. My wife’s work has now brought us to London, where I have returned to consulting work and recently completed a postgraduate degree in Finance.
I have no doubt that my time at La Trobe developed my critical thinking and confidence that has enabled a varied and enjoyable career, and the opportunity to work around the globe.
On a typical cold, winter’s morning in Melbourne, with grey overcast skies, as the sideway rains momentarily paused, there was nothing more tranquil than a cup of hot coffee from the Agora, and the warm and welcoming lights of the Borchardt Library.
I spent some 10 years in the RAAF after I graduated from La Trobe.
I was the first law graduate to serve as a ADF Legal Officer.
I received a Bachelor of Arts from La Trobe University’s Faculty of Social Sciences. I studied Italian, Legal Studies, and Sociology.
My lecturers and the course content helped me improve my writing and analytical skills and provided the foundation for future study and personal development. My lecturers were always very encouraging. Before La Trobe, I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do but the course gave me direction. After the Degree, I wanted to work using different languages and write.
Italian Studies at La Trobe introduced me to post-war Italian literature and some of the greatest writers of the 20th century like Oriana Fallaci, Alberto Moravia and Nathalia Ginzburg. Legal Studies with Andrea Rhodes-Little helped me become a better reader and I began to question more and evaluate rather than accept information blindly.
After a career in book selling and book distribution, I left Australia and moved to France where I earned a TEFL qualification and certificate in translation. I set up my own business. My working languages were French/Italian to English. I have worked in French Guiana in South America, France and am now based in New Caledonia for a couple of years.
I hold fond memories of my time at La Trobe and the Degree has proven very useful.