Degree: Bachelor of Arts
Current Position: Executive Director, ANKA Property Group
1. What attracted you to studying Arts & Social Sciences at UNSW?
After leaving the discipline of Mechanical Engineering, I embarked on studying the skills to prepare me to form an understanding of society in order to become a significant productive member and become a serious contributor in changing and improving the lot of many who are discriminated against for their gender, disabilities, emotional shortcomings and financial limitations. I have always believed that by helping one person, you can help a group and then make a difference to a community, one can then bring about changes that can influence the thinking of a whole generation of people!
2. Did you always have a clear idea of what you wanted to do after completing your degree?
After completing a degree where I did a double major in psychology and sociology, I began working in counselling. After a move to Perth, WA, I was offered a job at the WAS University to set up a course in Psychology based on the one at UNSW. As my husband and I had just started a business together, I needed to work with him. Most of the skills learned during my course I applied to my work life which assisted in overcoming the many hurdles one faced with authorities, work partners, employees and numerous others.
3. How did your time at UNSW help shape who you are today?
I loved my time at UNSW. I met wonderful people, shared comradery with people from all walks of life, people from multiple countries, many individuals with different professional aspirations, great lecturers and of course the library steps where I spent a lot of wonderful times in conversations, debates and generally socialising. The roundhouse where I met my husband (outside the ladies’ loo) will always hold a strong significance to me.
4. How did studying Arts & Social Sciences at UNSW help you develop transferable skills?
Studying Arts & Social Sciences not only educates you about the world around you, but also teaches you skills to manage and navigate through many situations and hurdles life throws one’s way. If you have a clearer understanding of the self, you can be more realistic and handle the ups and downs. One learns better communicating skills and the ability to express oneself which leads to more defined outcomes.
5. How did studying Arts & Social Sciences at UNSW help form your view on the world and the contemporary issues we face today?
My course opened my eyes to the way people function and cope with the obstacles that life presents us. If you know your strengths and weaknesses, you can tackle it all.
Today’s issues such as climate change, including the celebration of individualism and its positive influence on society, suggesting or offering alternatives and solutions when possible, and influencing each other to try new ways that can work to help each other combat loneliness, isolation, job loss in these Covid-19 conditions.
The idea of respect and care helps the person to keep positive, adaptable and not lose social momentum.
6. How did UNSW Arts & Social Sciences help prepare you for the workforce throughout your degree?
UNSW Arts & Social Science has helped me to test various professional avenues to find my fit and it allowed me flexibility in the choices available after I finished, as well as teaching me an understanding of the self and others.
Throughout the course, I learnt about myself and the world. Gaining this understanding helped me satisfy the conditions of the working world.
7. How did you get your foot in the door as a graduate, following the completion of your degree?
During my degree, I got a placing for psychology practical work as a counselor at North Shore Hospital outpatients, so after completing my course I applied to work there as a psychologist and was accepted. That was a way to get my foot in the door. I was determined to show my potential employer: my willingness to learn, work hard with enthusiasm and commitment to execute any task needed to accomplish a great outcome.
This built my confidence, precision, understanding and value to the outcome of my work.
8. What advice would you give to someone considering studying Arts at UNSW?
This is a great course offering varying disciplines that will lead you to many options for your future. The course offers you multifaceted alternatives and will introduce you to topics and professions.
Whether it is to explore more about a specific field: medical, administrative, teaching, creative artistic basics - your exposure to them will enable you to take a leadership role in the future.
9. What is your most memorable experience from your time at UNSW?
Many memorable experiences come to mind, social contacts and the Tharunka, students’ clubs. The Bachas Balls and the latest computer next to the library building which took up a whole large room and of course meeting my husband in the Roundhouse.
10. As a valued donor to UNSW, why does our cause matter to you?
My heart is in giving back to the University that allowed me to grow and equipped me for the challenges that life gave me. I was provided the tools to grow and meet the goals I set myself. My experience at UNSW helped develop my creativity, disciplined my thinking and gave me confidence that my will as a female was equal to all others. It gave me a voice.
11. What do you hope to achieve with your philanthropy?
With philanthropy I must enable others, young and old to experience parts of education that otherwise the University or themselves cannot afford. I see philanthropy as an enabler of opportunity highlighting what the rest of the world is offering in your chosen field. To me, it is very important to give back to the University that enabled me to reach my goals, as if not people like me, who?
12. Why do you Love What You Do?
I love what I do which is developing property, it is creating for people not only a home or a place to work or relax but a quality of life of which I am very proud!
We build lifestyles! We are very forward thinking in sustainability, design and quality in execution using the latest and safest materials. We have won many awards and built the first 5 star & 4-star residential building here. The residents love it!