Fulfilling a lifelong passion for education

La Trobe alumnus Deslea Guppy-Brittan understands the importance of a second chance. Now, she’s encouraging others to leave a life-changing gift of education.

For Deslea Guppy-Brittan, one photograph encapsulates her proudest personal achievement. It was captured on the day of her graduation at La Trobe’s Bendigo Campus in 2010.

Deslea’s graduation photo features on the front cover of Continue the Legacy, a new brochure from La Trobe explaining how people can leave a gift to La Trobe in their will.

“When La Trobe asked for my permission to print my graduation photo on the cover of the bequest brochure, I said 'of course'! When that photo was taken, I was ecstatic. Look, you can see it on my face. Being a mature-aged student at La Trobe changed my life.” Deslea says.

Graduating from university was the realisation of a life-long dream for Deslea, who at 63 years of age enrolled in a Bachelor of Creative Arts, majoring in painting.

“All my life I had been told University wasn’t possible for me. I was told as a child that I didn’t have the brains, and then later when I had a family I thought it was too late. But I’m so happy I did it,” she says.

Deslea always had a passion for the arts, but it wasn’t until she participated in a short course in painting and sculpture that she understood what was possible.

“I decided to do a TAFE course when I was 60, and I had a whale of a time,” she says. “I loved it so much and I was told that if I wanted to continue, it would mean university. At first I thought I couldn’t do it, but then I realised there was nothing stopping me.”

She says being surrounded by passionate young artists was a highlight of her time at La Trobe.

“My classmates were all in their early 20s, so I was the only grey-haired one wandering around La Trobe Bendigo!” she says. “We learnt a lot from each other – there were so many different ideas and different ways of doing things – I’d never seen anything like it.”

Since graduating, Deslea has continued to follow her passion, participating in art shows and selling her work.

“For me, studying at La Trobe gave me the confidence to follow my dreams. It’s shown me that it’s never too late to get involved with education and lead a more fulfilled life.”

Deslea says she is proud to support La Trobe University’s mission to ensure everyone has the chance to go to university, regardless of their circumstances.

“Opening the door for someone to access education is the best gift you can give,” she says. “I can’t imagine how my life would have been different if I had that opportunity when I was younger.”

Find out more about leaving a bequest

A gift in your will, also known as a bequest or legacy, can be a wonderful way to have a positive impact on the future. It is a gift that can see your passion for education and research continue beyond your lifetime and provide study opportunities that change lives.

For a copy of the bequest brochure, a confidential discussion or to advise us of your intentions to leave a gift in your will, please contact:

The Bequest Advisor
Alumni and Advancement
Telephone: 03 9479 2011 or 1300 737 133
Email: fundraising@latrobe.edu.au

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