Melbourne Campus’ top 10 student stories of 2019

What a year it’s been at Melbourne Campus! We’ve had amazing events just about every week in the Agora. We’ve seen student clubs and societies recruiting, dancing, singing, playing a multitude of sports and having all round great time on campus. And, we’ve met a lot of students – every one of which has a story to tell. Here, we share just a handful of the stories from your campus this year.

10. Meet 2019 Victorian International Education Awards finalist Susan Saldanha

“For me, winning would mean everything. It’s not even the title of it. It’s for my parents too. They supported me to come here and this is my way of giving back to them, to say thank you for believing in me.”

Navigating the new world of University straight out of high school can be tough. So, imagine making the transition from high school to Uni in another country. That’s exactly what Susan Saldanha did when she graduated from high school in India and made the journey to Australia. It wasn’t an easy road, moving to Melbourne and leaving her family behind in India, but Susan wouldn’t trade it for anything.

Read her story.

9. Graduate Monique’s start with a brewing giant

“Although this is not the ordinary path to take with my degree, I am very excited to have pursued this interest and look forward to seeing how my career develops.

Iconic beer company Carlton United Breweries (CUB) wasn’t an obvious choice for Bachelor of Laws / Bachelor of International Relations graduate Monique.

Read about Monique pathway from student to Global Management Trainee.

8. From Bundoora to Tel Aviv: Nursing student Emma swings Australia into pole position at Eurovision

It’s the morning after the first semi-final of the 64th Eurovision Song Contest in Tel Aviv and Australian dancer Emma Waite has her nose in a textbook.

The 46-year-old is one of two aerial performers taking Europe by storm as part of Kate Miller-Heidke’s death-defying performance of song Zero Gravity.

Read about La Trobe Nursing student Emma’s performance at Eurovision.

7. Mathias Talbo felt he’d failed Year 12. This week, he graduated from La Trobe with first-class honours

“I didn’t know what I wanted to do. It took me under when I failed; it destroyed me. I didn’t feel like I could get up in the mornings. I felt tired and directionless.”

After Year 12, Mathias Talbo felt like his world was falling apart. He hadn’t performed as well as he’d hoped, and a future as a University student seemed out of reach.

Read how Mathias found his passion, excelled in his course and found his future direction at La Trobe.

6. La Trobe graduate Khadeejah Buabbas on establishing her own speech pathology clinic

“My sister has Down syndrome and since she was young we’ve been seeing speech pathologists. I was fascinated by the way they worked.”

Khadeejah studied a Master of Speech Pathology at La Trobe, graduating in 2015, launching a career with a trajectory she couldn’t have imagined. Her success isn’t the result of a roll of the dice, Khadeejah has worked hard on the passion that began during her childhood in Kuwait.

Read Khadeejah’s story.

5. Exchange in Milan leads to a spot in Dolce & Gabbana summer campaign for Natalie

“The models pulled me in and for the next half hour we spent having fun, posing and dancing around like a traditional Italian festa.”

Traveling to several European countries, studying among ancient Roman ruins and landing a spot as an extra in a Dolce & Gabbana campaign – La Trobe student Natalie made the most of her Exchange experience.

Discover how it all unfolded.

4. La Trobe PhD student Jaclyn Swan wins a place in the L’Oréal-UNESCO For Women in Science Mentoring Scheme

PhD student Jaclyn Swan was just one of four Australian mentees selected for a spot in the coveted L’Oréal-UNESCO For Women in Science Mentoring Scheme.

Jaclyn’s research aims to aid in the development of future vaccines for parasites such as Fasciola hepatica, known as liver fluke – a parasite that commonly infects the livers of mammals, including humans.

Learn more about Jaclyn’s research and ambitions in STEM.

3. La Trobe student wins Order of Australia Association Foundation Scholarship

“I think that one of the biggest challenges I faced in my journey to university has been a result of disengaging from education for a number of years in early secondary school. I was the first (and only) student from the Pavilion School to ever complete my Victorian Certificate of Education.”

Bachelor of Arts and Law student Hannah Gandy overcame adversity to study at La Trobe, and received a received the prestigious Order of Australia Association Foundation Scholarship.

Read about her community work and how she’s inspiring others to re-engage in their own education.

2. Cybersecurity student Emily lands place in Google Womens Scholars Program

I’ve always been interested in tech, although I pushed it aside as I associated it with anti social men having poor posture.

Optus Cybersecurity scholar Emily Pendlebury was accepted into the Google Women Techmakers Scholar Program in Sydney. She spoke to MyLaTrobe about getting the call from Google, starting a Uni club that supports women in tech and the pursuit of gender equality in the tech industry.

Read Emily’s thoughts about women in tech at La Trobe.

1. “But you don’t look autistic…”: La Trobe PhD Candidate Elizabeth Radulski unmasks Autistic representation in academia

As a proud, openly-Autistic person, Elizabeth knows better than most the potential impact of her research. In hope of striving towards Autism Acceptance, Elizabeth’s discusses the importance of increasing self-representation in Autism research and offers an insight into life as an Autistic academic.

Read Elizabeth’s full piece here.

Share your story with us

We know everyone has a story to tell, and we want to hear yours! Get in touch with us by emailing and tell us about what you’d like to share with other students.

In the meantime, catch up on all our stories here.