At La Trobe University, our teachers are thought leaders who spot potential and nurture talent. Just ask graduate Demetrio Zema, who was recently reunited with his international relations teacher Professor Joseph Camilleri OAM.
Experience doesn’t come much better than Professor Camilleri. The Egyptian-born social scientist and philosopher has published over 25 books and 100 book chapters and journal articles, several of which have been translated into Arabic, Japanese and Mandarin. His expert opinion is sought after by government, community organisations, media and international conferences of ideas.
The world-renowned scholar introduced international relations to La Trobe almost forty years ago, and he’s been teaching it ever since. As a mentor, he’s supervised more than 35 PhD candidates and 30 international relations scholars – and taught more than 30 subjects. The advice he imparts to his students is to always draw on new and innovative approaches and ideas.
“The work should be as interesting and challenging as possible,” explains Professor Camilleri. “Critically looking at things and situations and forming one’s own judgement.”
It’s no surprise that Professor Camilleri made an impact on Demetrio.
After finishing his Bachelor of Laws/Bachelor of International Relations, Demetrio founded Law Squared, named ‘Australia’s most innovative law firm’ by Huffington Post. Law Squared takes an entrepreneurial approach to offering legal services for high-growth businesses and corporates. They partner with its clients, acting as risk advisers to help them grow.
Demetrio attributes his innovative business approach to Professor Camilleri’s teachings. “La Trobe did offer me an environment where I could think a bit differently,” says Demetrio. “Professor Camilleri was a leader in that.”
Despite Professor Camilleri’s many academic achievements, it’s seeing his students energised and inspired that remains a career high point.
“You are an inspiration,” he tells Demetrio. “All you’ve accomplished is what the scholar ideally hopes for.”
Meet more inspiring mentors at La Trobe.