With two university-educated parents, Liz Stinson was on campuses from a young age. Even back then she recognised “the potential of the fabulous opportunities” universities provide.
“Being on campus had an intrinsic comfort level”, she says. “Higher education is something I’ve grown up with and that’s inspired me throughout my life. And to see the impact it has on students’ lives as they move through and establish themselves in careers, it’s extraordinary.”
That feeling of ‘home’ later made university an attractive place to work.
As the head of La Trobe International between 2009 and 2015, Liz was responsible for bringing students in, sending students overseas and building international partnerships with universities around the world.
The role enabled Liz to connect with almost every part of the university. What impressed her most was the shared passion, care and commitment staff showed to supporting students.
She explains that for many students, La Trobe is a first experience not only of university life, but also being away from home.
“They might have come from overseas, they might have come from interstate or regional Victoria, and they’re mixing with students from all over the world in this environment,” she says.
“They’re here on their own, maybe only 18 or 19 years old. The team I led would make sure they were okay, keep an eye on them. They were a terrific group of staff.”
For Liz, helping these students transition to higher education with care and support connected with her personal values of social justice and empowerment.
“An evocative campus”
The university’s environmental values also mean a lot to Liz. In the video, you’ll glimpse the natural beauty of Bundoora’s bushland campus, which brought Liz joy each day.
“The natural setting is unique to this university. The campus environment here is, for me, second to none.”
Bundoora’s conversion from farmland and its preservation of natural values is a legacy that “leads brilliantly into some of La Trobe’s areas of academic strength” including wildlife and conservation biology. Drawing on these strengths, La Trobe recently ranked first in the world for protecting and restoring life on land.
When she worked at La Trobe, a half-hour morning walk about the campus became a daily ritual. Liz recalls, “I knew every swamphen along the moat and every sulphur-crested cockatoo ”.
“It’s an evocative campus.”
The strong alignment between Liz’s personal values and La Trobe’s ultimately led to her decision to make a bequest.
“It’s about doing what’s in my capacity to help out,” Liz explains. “It’s making a contribution to something I believe in.”
Leaving a gift to La Trobe University in your Will is a way to safeguard the future you most care about. What will you change?