Vanessa Cover

In her own words

I have always been driven by a desire to tackle challenges and make a difference.

My expertise is in business - specifically in the specialisations of risk, audit, compliance and governance. My skills and experience provide me with the foundation stones for my work, but my motivation to work is – and always has been - ultimately about making a social impact.

I joined La Trobe in 2016 following a successful 20-year career in corporate Australia, serving many clients across commercial and government sectors.

During my time as a National Director for a Big 4 Accounting Firm, I had the opportunity to take on a different role in corporate responsibility and had a seat on their charitable foundation. This work was inspiring, impactful and won major business awards. It provided me with the opportunity to develop innovative programs that transformed culture through pro bono consulting and skilled volunteering - to build capacity right at the intersection of private enterprise, government and not for profit sectors.

When the opportunity arose to join La Trobe, I took it with two hands. I knew then that I wanted to work in a sector that makes a direct social impact. I was drawn to the Higher Education sector firstly for my belief that:

  1. Education is freedom and
  2. Education is an answer- a very good answer- to our social issues.

La Trobe has social justice at the heart of its DNA - and this is palatable walking through University. Its motto qui cherche trouve and its vision as an institution was an ideal fit for me. The impact the University makes through its strategy and teaching - though the passion of the academic and administrative staff to improving research and student experience outcomes -  is nothing short of magnificent.

La Trobe resonates deeply for me on a number of levels. Being the daughter of migrant European parents, I was - like many students at La Trobe- the first in my family to attend university. Higher education opened so many doors for me. Whilst my ‘alma mater’ is with one of the ‘Group of Eight’ universities, the educational outcomes are the same:

  1. knowledge to apply information, ideas, theories, and formulas through wisdom
  2. exposure to fields of research and practice, development of social connections and
  3. personal growth.

I have been rewarded through my work at La Trobe. I was fortunate to have been given a mandate to transform the risk management division, with an objective to increase the value of the practice across campuses and jurisdictions. I have built frameworks, systems, processes and procedures that have started cultural change and enabled better insights into managing risk. My work is interesting, complex and rewarding.

I have been acknowledged by my team, senior executive and Council for transformative changes made in a short space of time. This is humbling and highly rewarding. I could not have achieved all that in the last two years in any other organisation. With pleasure, my La Trobe journey continues.