1. The most rewarding part of your job?
Without a doubt, the most rewarding part of my job is graduation ceremonies. When you see students walk across the graduation stage, especially those students who are the first in their family to attend university, and who never believed they would be able to get a degree, it’s an emotional moment. Graduation signifies a time that will not only change their own life, but also the life of their family, and the families of generations to come. We’re lucky to have more than 16,000 students at Torrens University, Think Education and Media Design School so there will be plenty more ceremonies to come for me.
2. Who do you most admire?
Doug Becker – the founder of Laureate International Universities. He had a dream to create an international network of universities, before global citizenship was a buzzword, and was smart enough to establish the organisation in Spanish speaking countries where he saw the rise of the aspiring middle class. He was aware that education changes lives, and made that dream a reality.
3. What’s your personal motto that helps you power through obstacles?
Surround yourself with really smart people and get out of their way.
4. The biggest roadblock in your career, and how were you able to overcome it?
The biggest roadblock was also the biggest opportunity for me. Being part of a marriage, or a partnership, there needs to be give and take. My husband’s career was mobile and global, and that meant I would move every three to five years. The roadblock was being in a role for a short amount of time, but the way I overcame that was by having a plan to make myself redundant, and the business more sustainable, so that I could move on to do something else.
5. The biggest risk you took?
Coming to Australia and moving into government, which was something I had never done before. I had previously worked in financial services and education, and when moving into the public sector, I wasn’t sure if I would be a cultural fit as I had been in commerce for so long.
6. Proudest moment so far?
The moment when Torrens University had its first ever PhD student walk across the graduation stage in 2017, but also when our Torrens student, Melanie Tran, won the Laureate global Here for Good award in 2018.
7. Best advice you ever received?
- Surround yourself with smart people;
- we have two ears and one mouth – use them in that proportion;
- and, don’t wait to be invited to the table.
8. Driving force in your life?
Inequality – it drives me crazy. I’ll always fight for equality. Everybody has the right to maximise their full potential, and have choices in life. This relates to everything – education, food, poverty, security, sexuality. That’s what keeps me going.
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