Alumni profile

Terry Garwood

Diploma of Arts (General Studies)
Graduate Diploma in Education (Secondary), 1978

Deputy Secretary, Department of Environment, Land, Water & Planning

Terry Garwood is Deputy Secretary in the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning. 

He holds a Diploma of Arts (General Studies) and a Graduate Diploma in Education (Secondary), and is a member of the Class of 1978. 

Terry says he grew up in a family of "poverty."

"I remember we lived off bread and jam – no butter, it was too expensive,"  Terry said.

He was working at an abattoir when he decided to instead go to university. 

“I had a very, very strong grandmother. She took me to Bendigo to enrol in university," he said. 

"I struggled in my first year, but I finally got it – the key to having a good, positive social life but being able to study and study effectively." 

After Terry's humble upbringing, he says it's important to retain some perspective, particularly in his role in the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning. 

“If you’re in a good job, particularly working in Aboriginal affairs, you’ve always got to keep a bit of perspective in that it says there’s a mob out there that’s still struggling [and] still got issues," he said. 

"Stay connected to be involved and make sure you’re dealing with those issues."

Terry says that La Trobe has been part of the journey to embracing diversity and embracing Indigenous culture. 

Inclusion makes us stronger as a country, exclusion makes us weaker. If that message gets through in a way that acknowledges the important place that Indigenous people have and the value, then that flows through to a young person’s participation in university.

Terry describes his time at La Trobe as a "life-changing experience."

“I could’ve stayed at the abattoir or gone to the cannery, but I chose to go to university."

Arts, social sciences and communications Education and teaching

Last updated: 6th May 2019