Bendigo Chapter 2012 Reflections

The Bendigo Chapter of the La Trobe University Alumni has had another successful and rewarding year in 2012.

This year we were able to continue our Downtown Lecture series, held at the fantastic facilities of the La Trobe Visual Arts Centre, View St, Bendigo.  Three lectures were held throughout the year. The first lecture for the year (March 28th ) followed our AGM  and was presented by Mr David Joss, CEO of Community Telco.  Mr Joss told the story of his company's history; its conception in Bendigo, its success and finally its reach to serving businesses all across Australia.  Our second lecture for the year, held on July 5th, was presented by Mr Peter Ellis OAM, and titled “Musing on the history of Australian Folk Music.”  During the lecture Mr Ellis shared treasured memories, photos and music from his long a varied career as a musician and historian.  The third and final Downtown lecture held for 2012 was “Bendigo & La Trobe University – Beginnings & Beyond” presented by Ms Penny Davies, Chair of Bendigo Tertiary Education Anniversary Foundation and Associate of the La Trobe University Bendigo Campus,  and Mr Andrew Skewes, Executive Director of La Trobe University Bendigo campus, The lecture, presented to on the 11th of September, explored the rich history of tertiary education in Bendigo over the past 139 years as well as discussing the future vision for the Bendigo campus to 2017 and beyond.

At all of our Downtown lectures we have conducted fundraising that provides scholarships to reward both undergraduate and post-graduate excellence at the Bendigo Campus. This year the Bendigo Chapter presented scholarships to two Bendigo students Mr Rick Whateley (undergraduate) and Ms Linda Kirkman (post-graduate).

The aim of the Bendigo Chapter of La Trobe University Alumni is to build links between the university, its graduates and the wider community.  This year the chapter sponsored the Bendigo Information Technology Society (BITS) to hold an industry night  with the theme “What will be the next big game changer in I.T?”. A wide range of Bendigo organisations were invited to speak and network with students and I am happy to say, that with the majority of IT students attending, the night was a success.

Next year, April 21 2013, will mark 140 years since the first class was held at the Bendigo School of Mines in 1873.  The Bendigo Chapter committee are excited to be taking part in the 140th anniversary of tertiary education in Bendigo celebrations which will be held from the 18th to the 21st of April next year.

As the year draws to a close, the committee have turned their attention to 2013, a year in which we will be looking to further member benefits and potentially add to the La Trobe University Bendigo social calendar.

This year the committee has again been fortunate to have the support of La Trobe Alumni and Advancement; with special thanks to Professor Robin Williams for budgetary support and Mr Karl Brown for day to day chapter support.

On behalf of the committee I would like to thank Mr Andrew Skewes, Executive Director of the Bendigo Campus for his ongoing commitment to Chapter events and sponsorship.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank Mr Leon Moulden (immediate past chair) for his help and guidance throughout this year; Ms Zora Brauchli for her administration assistance; Mr John Deane for his support as Deputy Chair; Ms Charon Freebody for her continued work as e-news editor and website co-ordinator and Mr Andrew Watson for his work as Treasurer and Minutes Secretary.  To all the committee members,  I would like to thank you all for your ongoing dedication and enthusiasm to the Chapter throughout 2012.

Best wishes to all La Trobe Alumni for a happy conclusion to 2012 and a successful 2013.

Katherine Hancy