Julie Andrews

In her own words (adapted from her Living History interview)

My name is Dr Julie Andrews. I graduated here at La Trobe University in 1992. When I first was a student here, I used to see a lot of pictures around the campus of when the University started. One of the pictures that I used to focus on a bit was the Vice-Chancellor sitting on a tabletop at the bar, the Eagle Bar, and having conversations with students.

What I saw when I got here was a welcoming environment. Everyone seemed to be equal. There was no competition. The possibilities of becoming someone here at La Trobe, there seemed to be no restrictions there.

I was involved in a lot of the student political activities. We used to participate in Aboriginal rallies. We were at the forefront of trying to get a connection for our students with the community, and everything that we set out to do we actually did.

I was the first grandchild who had graduated at university in my family.

After I graduated from La Trobe University, I became the first Indigenous full-time lecturer here. I taught Aboriginal studies, and I’ve been here ever since.

I feel I’ve been an instrumental part of making a contribution to this University. We have to retain our Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander identity and our community links, but we need to do that with education. The strength of education is only going to empower us further, and that’s what I’d like to see in the next 50 years.

When I think of what La Trobe has been about, it’s the centre, the heart, where we can all be one and get our message out to each other.