I studied at La Trobe’s Bendigo campus.
It was a great experience! I got to experience the Australian education system as well as learn about agricultural life and Australia’s history.
I had a lot of opportunities to learn closely from (and socialise with) a diverse range of people including a lot of international students, Indigenous Australians, and Bendigo locals.
I started my university studies at La Trobe University’s Bundoora campus in 1971.
One of only a few students to be accepted into university from my class at Broadmeadows High, I was a recent child migrant and the first in my family to study at university. They were exciting days, being amongst the political activists, demonstrating about important social issues, sit-ins in the VC’s office.
By the time the Albury-Wodonga campus was opened, I was living in Wodonga and enrolled to study further. After a long association with La Trobe, I now work as Senior Disability and Equity Advisor at the Albury-Wodonga campus and, thoroughly enjoy my role.
As a Muslim academic at La Trobe, I’ve enjoyed working here in a friendly community.
I’ve worked closely with the Office of the Vice Chancellor to organise Muslim events like Ramadan Iftar and Eid festival, and created Islamic finance products such as an interest free loan, an Islamic finance course, Zakat, and other good work for the communities around La Trobe University.
I organised one of the biggest Islamic finance conferences in the Australasian region, held at Rialto Tower and I received threats. La Trobe University helped me to hire security to protect the event and staff working for that event.
Here we go…the hardcopy photos that I have to ‘collage’ on the floor…beautiful memories indeed. 15 years ago, but our smiles and experiences seem so fresh like it just happened only yesterday.
The Agora (an all time favourite for all, I presume): where we had our coffee fix.
Chisholm College: those times hanging out in kitchen; dinner (potluck) and, of course, drinking and cards sessions.
Kristy’s photos from her time at La Trobe University
I count our blessings that Google and smartphones were yet to take over the world because the time we spent in the Library, trying to reserve and sharing the reference books, the real connections (without our head down on phones) and sneaking our head into lecturers’ rooms for consultations are definitely top fondest memories. And the ‘pheww’ feeling (beer, anyone?) once we dropped our final assignments into the boxes (do they still exist now?) And hey, as I type, I suddenly recall those nights at Eagle Bar! Such fun unleashed if we went all the way, especially after exams.
This is the place where my beautiful friendships are born. The platform to mingle people with diverse backgrounds and cultures. I still remember the warm laughter we shared over lectures, activities and coffee/donuts.
To my close La Trobian mates, lecturers, and staff, we have left such deep footsteps behind us…a trail of memories where now we revisit and realise that it is still there. And it is heartwarming to see a new generation building their own now – a beautiful garden of human connections.
Happy 50th La Trobe!
I have found that a lot of people from La Trobe University share a common happy memory of the social life, as well as the education that the University brings.
Upon graduating from a double degree in a Bachelor of Health Sciences and a Bachelor of Commerce at La Trobe University, I entered the workforce straight after I graduated in the Health Sciences sector; and have had the opportunity to work interstate in NSW and ACT.
Being able to utilise social skills (networking) I realise now is one of the most valuable and transferrable assets in the work environment. Not only does it enable possible job connections, it also enhances work/life experiences. Reflecting, the structure of classes and tutorials, Library layout, and the carefully thought out (and beautiful) landscapes enabled and added to this experience.
I am also still best friends with the first person I met at La Trobe University, who happened to be someone who I introduced myself to on the very first day of university, who was standing next to me while we waited for our first lecture at the Western Lecture Theatre. That was at least 16 years ago! We also formed a close group of friends, with whom we regularly take time to share our life journey through coffee catch ups.
These are the things that completing two wonderful degrees has given me along the way, and something I will always treasure and tell people about.
Without my La Trobe experience, I highly doubt I would ever have been to Sweden, let alone heard of Umea, a town in the north.
Luckily for me, I got the chance to spend three weeks there as a fourth year Health and Physical Education student. I had already been on placement here in Australia, yet Sweden opened my eyes to teaching outside the bubble that I lived in.
Being someone who hates the cold, I saw how the Swedish embraced it – ice skating at recess, snow-mobiling on the weekends, taking a change of clothes on a night out (one for the walk home and one for inside the bar).
The exchange is honestly one of the best things I have ever done and not only enhanced my time at La Trobe, but invoked my passion for travel and teaching.
My most memorable experience is not a singular experience at all; it is actually comprised of five very memorable overseas exchange programs organised by La Trobe as well as the professor of the law school at the time, Professor Gordon Walker.
As a student of La Trobe, I was able to experience moments I would otherwise never have encountered. I have fed live bears in Bern, Switzerland, learnt about shipping embargos in Germany, discussed investment in developing countries in Hong Kong, took pleasure in the permitted use of fireworks in Shanghai, and bowed as the Royal Family passed me on the way to class in The Hague. Most importantly, throughout these experiences abroad, I was able to meet and learn from other students and lecturers I would otherwise never meet from countries such as Jamaica, Uzbekistan, and Korea and, as a result, have made lasting friendships.
One more notable memory was from a debating competition that my fellow students and I were part of called the Frankfurt Investment Arbitration Moot held in Frankfurt Germany. We were one of twenty teams from around the world involved in presenting written and oral submissions on International Investment Protection Law. The case study was on the seizure of the Brig Betsy Ames by a privateer Sallie taking place in 1861 in the midst of the Union and Confederate Navies Civil War. My team and I were faced with issues such as naturalisation, Tripartite Treaties, Conventions and State Declarations. Our team leader – also a graduate of La Trobe – Richard Lightfoot, was our pillar of support and the coordinator of outings, tours and meetings with other professors and universities. During this time we had to lean heavily on each other for not only study support, but also for emotional support as we made our way through each round and eventually to the finals to take first place before the most senior Arbitrators at the Frankfurt Chamber of Commerce.
La Trobe University has given me more then a Law degree; La Trobe provided me with not only a network of friends from around the world and a globally recognised qualification, but also the confidence to continue to learn and achieve in law and in life. Undoubtedly they were the best years of my life.
Thank you La Trobe.
My journey as a La Trobe student began at the campus in Bundoora in 2009 when I was 19 years old; how time flies, it’s nearly 10 years ago!
Thank you La Trobe for giving me such an amazing beginning, also taking me to many places, allowing me to meet many people, the many ‘first memories’! You helped me to realise what life is.
What’s more, I met my perfect husband there, and made my first business dream come true.
“Work hard, play hard, to be a lifelong learner!” However, if I had the second chance to be a student again, I will try more different ways to make myself better!
Happy 50th birthday to you!
Second year uni, I lived on “res” as a residential student leader.
Before O Week had commenced, we were witness to something you don’t learn in the classroom, or out in the field. Tragically, an exchange student, a friendly face and fast mate died on campus.
I recall the response of residential services, the support we received from staff, but importantly gave to each other. I recall the moving goodbye and intimate send-off held in tribute behind the Ironbark Centre. A mantra was shared with me; “what can be gained from this experience?” that I have carried since.
I applied my learning and did well. I have travelled the world, and worked in centres of excellence, to return to Victoria.
Recently I returned to Bendigo, living and working in our vibrant community. La Trobe staff welcomed my experience when I returned for a short time as a sessional teacher in 2014. The community and culture of La Trobe Bendigo is strong, and something to be immensely proud of.
I have retained extraordinary friendships from my time at La Trobe and it is evident that my time there wasn’t just an education. This experience, one of many, showed me the infinite possibilities out there.
I wore the purple scarf and the square academic cap on May 11, 2007, after six years at La Trobe Law, while working as a teacher and ‘raising’ two primary school children and a husband. I was a younger woman with white hair (from studying).
I used to think of Aussies as a pack of ‘whatevers’ yelling at football matches, but this view changed dramatically when I met intelligent and genuinely caring young (and not so young) students at La Trobe. I enjoyed the enchanting study groups and also appreciated the personal attention from the staff and Law ESL.
My law reform recommendations were published in the ‘Progress Report’ of Discrimination in the Law, Inquiry under 207 of the Equal Opportunity Act 1995, acknowledged in the ‘Final Report’. Two others and I wrote ‘The Crimes (Family Violence) Act 1987 – A Review of Intervention Orders’ and the West Heidelberg Community Legal Service published it.
Notwithstanding my less than impressive marks, I was determined to become a lawyer. I worked as a legal assistant, then as a legal coder in the city, completing the required experiences. Several years later however, I concede that I am too creative to be a lawyer. My hair should have turned back to black by now, but this hasn’t occurred, so I dye it blond to have more fun. My husband has retired, learned to count to ten in Japanese, and our two now adult children (living at home) are bilingual.
Nowadays I call myself a bilingual creative writer. Under my pen name Komonz, I was published bilingually in Victoria University’s ‘Offset’. I have compiled and edited an intercultural anthology featuring haiku poems in several community languages; my novel written in Japanese was published as the winner at Gifu Literature Festival in Japan; been published highly recommended in ‘Port Phillip Writes’; been short-listed in the Deborah Cass, and coordinated several intercultural literature festivals for the Japanese group. I am a director of the Association of New Elderly Inc. – an intercultural Japanese-Korean NPO, and the founder of AtPort Writers Group.