Your legacy can keep the flame alive

Alumna Enza Marano’s road to studying at La Trobe in the 70’s was a challenging one. Read her letter below to discover how she's committed to making it easier for future generations through leaving a gift in her Will.

Dear reader,

My name is Enza. I’m a previous graduate of La Trobe, just like you. As the new year unfolds, I’m starting to look ahead to the future, and as I do, I can’t help but also reflect on the past. I’m reminded of the immense value my education had in shaping my life, and how close I came to missing out on it.

I was a young woman fascinated by science during the 1970’s, when most were expected to study nursing, business, or nothing at all. The road for women in scientific fields was hard, and opportunities were scarce.

I still remember the moment I received that life-changing offer to study biological sciences at La Trobe. I was so excited that I ran like an idiot from the postman and straight inside to tell mum. She was so rapt for me. But when my father found out, his response echoed the sentiments of many at the time.

“Girls only go to uni to find a husband. If you were your brother, I’d pay for you to go.”

Those words stung, but I wasn’t about to give up hope. I’d never been the ‘rebellious’ type, growing up in a migrant Italian household. There were limitations put on me very early – I wasn't allowed to do what the Aussie kids could do. I remember thinking to myself, ‘Why shouldn’t women be able to get ahead, too?’

Fuelled by that determination, I took the bus to enrolment day to La Trobe and discovered I could apply for a La Trobe bursary then a Commonwealth scholarship to cover the cost of my studies.

The day I was offered that bursary, my entire world opened up. Without it, I am certain my educational journey would have taken a vastly different course.

I owe a considerable part of my success to my time at La Trobe. The 70’s were truly an extraordinary era to be a student, surrounded by a diverse tapestry of aspiring minds, brilliant academics, and thought-provoking discussions against the backdrop of the Vietnam War.

Not only was I able to complete my science degree, but I was also able to return to La Trobe to undertake a Diploma of Education, and later on, a degree in Sociology. I shared my love of science with the younger generation as a teacher after I graduated. I rejected the notion that any child was incapable of achieving success and getting ahead in life. This was a healing experience for me who had, for a long time, been led to believe that getting an education meant giving up a future.

Fast forward 50-odd years, and although the doors to higher education are open much wider for young women, the financial hurdles currently confronting students pursuing higher education today are more formidable than ever. Compounded by the current cost-of-living crisis, our young people find themselves caught in the crossroads of choosing between basic necessities and going to university.

My time at La Trobe set me on a path toward a fulfilling life and a successful career in maths and science education, and I’m so grateful for the financial support I had by way of a scholarship. For this reason, I have arranged a gift to establish a scholarship fund at La Trobe in my Will. This fund will be dedicated to providing financial assistance to deserving young women who want to pursue science at university.

This isn’t just an expression of gratitude; I also want to ensure quality education stays accessible for the upcoming generation. Just like us, these bright young people have aspirations, and through our generosity, we can help them overcome the barriers they face in achieving them.

Looking forward, I hope you too can reflect on your own education. Many of us have a similar story in that if it wasn't for the education we received, we wouldn't have gone on to accomplish everything we have. Through leaving this gift, my love for science and education will be propelled forward, long beyond myself, and will continue to enrich the lives of others.

I invite you to consider joining me and a growing community of our peers in making a commitment to aid future aspiring students through a gift in your Will. Education isn't just a personal journey, it's a catalyst for positive change in our society, and like me, you can leave a legacy that keeps that flame alive for generations to come.


Enza Marano

Want to learn more about how you can leave a gift in your Will? Check out our Bequest page for more information.