Meet our Archaeology and History students

Our Archaeology and History students are unlocking the secrets of the past and bringing the human journey to life

Michaela Dinas

Meet Michaela Dinas (pictured above), a final-year student in our Bachelor of Archaeology (Honours) degree.

“I’ve always had a passion for history which intensified when I travelled,” says Dinas. “Although I wasn’t certain what I wanted to do, I knew it had to be something I loved – and discovered La Trobe’s Bachelor of Archaeology degree.”

Dinas says the highlight of her student experience has been the people she has met. “I have made the greatest friends, people who have a similar passion to me but come from vastly different backgrounds,” she explains. “They have become a crucial support network.”

“In my degree, I have undertaken archaeology work in both field and office environments. I have met incredible archaeology professionals, and their experience and knowledge has really enhanced what I have been learning in the classroom.”

When Dinas graduates, she hopes to continue in research.

“My Honours thesis examines what skeletal remains and other burial artefacts can reveal about Iron Age settlements in Cambodia. I would like to learn as much as I can about the past.”


Claire Alton

Meet Claire Alton. She is a final-year student in our Bachelor of Education (Secondary) degree, specialising in History.

“I have always had a passion for both science and history,” says Alton. “When I left school, I decided to follow a science pathway but when I completed a Bachelor of Science (Psychology), I realised it wasn’t right for me.”

After reflecting on what she was truly passionate about, Alton made the leap into education. “I took some time off to travel which reignited my love of history,” she says. “I had also enjoyed the secondary education electives during my previous degree, so I decided to combine the two.”

La Trobe, says Alton, went the extra mile to help her transition into an education pathway. “I decided to pursue another bachelor’s degree and specialise in teaching history, humanities, and psychology to secondary students,” she explains.

When Alton becomes a teacher, she hopes her interest in history will inspire students. “I believe that having a passion for the subjects I teach will help to create a classroom environment where students are excited about learning and growing.”


Joel Garside

Meet Joel Garside. He is a final-year student in our Bachelor of Archaeology (Honours) degree.

“I began a Bachelor of Arts, but loved my Archaeology units so much that I decided to transfer into a Bachelor of Archaeology,” says Garside. “La Trobe has a brilliant Archaeology program with excellent facilities and a reputation for world-class research.”

For his Honours thesis, Garside is examining the way people interacted with their environments in the past. “I became really interested in this topic after undertaking training in the Pollen and Ancient Environments Lab at La Trobe,” he explains.

The professional focus of the course, says Garside, has been invaluable.

“Students are trained in industry-relevant skills and there are plenty of internship opportunities through La Trobe’s Archaeology Research Partnerships Program.”

In the future, Garside hopes to work in cultural heritage management – but for now, his sights are set on further study.

“I would love to pursue a research degree in Archaeology with a focus on either paleoenvironments or enhancing cultural heritage protection through the use of remote sensing and satellite data.”


Sally Harding

Meet Sally Harding, a third-year student in our Bachelor of Arts (History) degree.

“I originally trained as a journalist and press photographer and have also worked in public relations and community engagement,” says Harding.

A deep curiosity and passion for history motivated Harding to make a career change.

“When my young family and I moved to Albury-Wodonga, I finally had an opportunity to undertake a university degree. I enrolled at La Trobe’s Albury-Wodonga campus.”

A highlight of Harding’s university experience has been the opportunity to work with Wodonga Council.

“I researched and recommended how a diversity policy might be developed and implemented,” she says. “I was subsequently awarded the La Trobe University City of Wodonga Prize for Outstanding Contribution to the Local Community.”

Upon graduation, Harding hopes to pursue a research career, but also wants to find ways to make history more engaging. “I want to highlight the events, people and places of the past through written and artistic formats, making it interesting and relevant for a modern-day audience.”