Gwenda Tavan

In her own words

I completed my undergraduate studies at La Trobe University in the 1980s as a mature age student. I went on to complete a PhD, also at La Trobe, and have been a lecturer here since 2003. Most recently I served a three-year stint as Head of the Department of Politics, Media and Philosophy in the School of Humanities and Social Sciences.

I was a working-class girl from the northern suburbs of Italian background and the first in my family to go to university. La Trobe University changed my life.

I have spent the last twenty years here researching immigration issues and teaching young people, many of whom have backgrounds similar to mine. I remain immensely proud of our student body, La Trobe's commitment to social justice and equity, and the role it plays in providing opportunities to young people from all sorts of backgrounds. I am constantly inspired by my colleagues and my students, all of whom share the same ideals.

It is immensely rewarding to see so many La Trobe graduates go on to do important work around the globe - everything from delivering babies, finding cures for horrible diseases and cures for despotic and unjust political practices!