Alumni Voices
Perception v Reality: My PhD Journey - Sabrina Davies BPhil(Hons) ‘18

Perception v Reality: My PhD Journey - Sabrina Davies BPhil(Hons) ‘18

March 27, 2020

Sabrina Davies BPhil(Hons) '18 is a third year PhD student studying the biochemistry behind seed germination after bushfires. She describes herself as ‘nuts about everything science’ – particularly being able to teach science or get other people as excited about it as she is! When not in the lab you can find Sabrina attempting to play electric guitar or washing clothes and having a chat at Orange Sky (a mobile laundry service for people experiencing homelessness).

Gorilla Warfare - Dr Cyril Grueter

Gorilla Warfare - Dr Cyril Grueter

March 23, 2020

Dr Cyril Grueter is a biological anthropologist in UWA’s School of Human Sciences and School of Biological Sciences. His work explores the evolution of group social organisation in humans and primates, where individuals of different social units overcome hostility to interact and collaborate.

The primates he studies are critically endangered and he hopes learning more about their behaviour and raising awareness for their plight may increase their chance of survival.

Contact Dr Cyril Grueter

Seizing the opportunity - Dr Dick Porter [DCom ‘14]

Seizing the opportunity - Dr Dick Porter [DCom ‘14]

March 16, 2020

Great opportunities don't come everyday, but Dick Porter, the co-founder of STA Travel and Director of STA Travel Group has been taking every opportunity for the last 40 years in the UK. A self proclaimed “average student” at UWA, Dick embarked on a trip to the UK and has remained there ever since. By 1976, suffering from the huge oil shock flowing from the 1973 ‘Yom Kippur’ War, much of the European travel industry had failed or required government subsidy to continue. Seizing the opportunity, Dick co-founded STA Travel in 1979, which has continued to advise young people on holidays and adventures abroad, offering a unique range of flights, accommodation, tours and expeditions in 90 countries. Today, STA Travel has more than 400 branches worldwide and sends more than six million passengers away each year.

In this interview Dick shares how a freak accident during university changed the trajectory of his career, what a business leader looks like, the impact of mentoring and the alumni network in the UK, and the importance for students and alumni to travel.

Jay Munro -

Jay Munro -

March 9, 2020

Jay Munro, Head of Career Insights (Marketing), Australia & New Zealand,

Having worked within the recruitment industry for over 15 years, Jay Munro is now Indeed's Employer Insights Strategist for Australia and New Zealand. During his career he has had the opportunity to garner insights from working in a variety of roles, including recruiting, consulting, and product development of new sourcing technologies.

“Never before has the future of work been so uncertain. We face an ever-changing landscape where jobs are lost and new ones gained as industries and organisations evolve. With such uncertainty, it's imperative to build a resilient toolkit that will sustain you across roles, companies and sectors.  I’ll draw on what I know of the global job market to share with you what I believe to be key opportunities and challenges on the road ahead - and to remind you of the most important skills you already have to meet them.  If you’re looking for hints to put yourself in the best possible position for growing your career, join me at CareerConnect.”

IWD2020 #EachForEqual

IWD2020 #EachForEqual

March 8, 2020

The Global Gender Gap Report published by the World Economic Forum states that gender equality is not only a fundamental human right but is linked to a country’s overall economic performance.

Over the last decade Australia has made significant progress towards gender equality, particularly in education, health and female workforce participation. At universities, in organisations and in government, more women are taking on leadership roles and forging positive pathways for future generations. Despite this progress, inequality and discrimination prevail in many areas of society. Women continue to earn less than men, are less likely to advance their careers as far as men, and accumulate less retirement or superannuation savings.

Hear our speakers and panellists discuss what #EachForEqual means for them; how we can empower young women and men to operate in a more equitable way; the systems and norms which have historically oppressed women; different industry sectors and their varying pace of change in this space and; the role of the education sector in facilitating gender equity.



Imelda Whelehan - Dean, Graduate Research School at The University of Western Australia



University Librarian at The University of Western Australia


Sandra Brewer BCom '94

WA Executive Director at Property Council of Australia


Preeti Castle MBA '18

Strategic Engagement Director at The Western Australian Biodiversity Science Institute.  Non-Executive Director at Munda Biddi Trail Foundation


Dr Fiona McGaughey PhD '18

Director of Higher Degrees (Coursework), UWA Law School


Chris Sutherland BE '86

Non-Executive Director


Closing Remarks

Pauline Chiwawa BCom '19 (she/her)

2020 Women’s Officer at UWA Student Guild

Beyond the Big 4: A great, big, beautiful world

Beyond the Big 4: A great, big, beautiful world

March 2, 2020

If the idea of going straight from study into a strictly defined job in a large company, and the subsequent progression up the corporate ladder, makes you uneasy, this discussion is for you. Our diverse alumni panel talk non-traditional career paths, both in Perth and around the world.


Kate Chaney LLB ‘98
Director, Innovation and Strategy, Anglicare WA

Dr Angie Kings-Lynne BSc, BE ’02, PhD ‘06
Engineering Consultant | Transmin

Mark Stickells BA ‘94
Executive Director, Pawsey Supercomputing Centre

Dr Zara Torre BDS '07, LLB, BA '14, MPH '18
CEO & Founder, The Difference


Aden Date GradCertSocImp '15
Director, Only the Human

Not just a job: The evolving world of work

Not just a job: The evolving world of work

February 24, 2020

Careers are becoming increasingly complex.  In the world of tomorrow, it’s very likely you’ll have your day job, your business ‘on the side’ and the volunteering you do to upskill, make connections and create positive change.

This panel features alumni who are ‘doing it all’ talking about whether a separation of work and life is realistic.  Yes, you can have it all.  You just may have to have it all at once.


Tshung-Hui Chang BCom ‘93
Director, Torque Metals Limited

Lou Forster MBA ‘16
Head of Brand & People, Chorus

Andrew Walker BE ‘14

Charlotte Smail BEnvDes ’13, MArch ‘18
Consultant, Tower Human Capital Group


Anna Burchfield MIntlRelns '14
Digital Communications Officer, Main Roads Western Australia

The inside scoop for acing interviews

The inside scoop for acing interviews

February 17, 2020

Those in the market for a new job know that there are a lot of tips out there on how to do well in interviews and some of them are a little conflicting. The truth is, while they may ask about it in different ways, most employers want to hear the same things.

This panel features the employers themselves talking about how you can best prepare for interviews and the most important piece of information you need in advance.


Kassy Taylor BA, BCom ‘14
Compliance Manager, Politis Central Services Group 

Kathleen Franklyn BSc ’88, BSc(Hons) ’89, PhD ’95, GradDipEd ‘16
Career Development Consultant, Curtin 

Mark Lane BPed '87
CEO, Surfing WA


Neesha Seth MPsych '09
Organisational Pscyhologist

Connections: The amazing impact of mentors and networks

Connections: The amazing impact of mentors and networks

February 10, 2020

Never underestimate the power of connection.  Every successful person knows they didn’t get to where they are on their own.  It took mentors, referrals, advice.  A little help from a friend. 

Our panel share their tips and tricks for tapping into your networks, to gain as well as to give. 


Angel Chen LLB, BCom ’15, BCom(Hons) ‘16
Strategy Chief, DrawHistory

Christian Bauer LLB ‘94
Legal Counsel, Wesfarmers 

Carmen Braidwood BA ‘02
6PR Radio Host

Veronika Komarenko BCom '11, CA
Director, Optimize Business Advisory


Matthew Mckenzie BA, BEc '15
Journalist, Business News

Exceptional you! Strength in diversity

Exceptional you! Strength in diversity

February 3, 2020

Everybody’s different.  Everyone has unique strengths and weaknesses.  A key to career success is knowing yourself, playing to your strengths and collaborating with others to offset your weaknesses. 

Here you will learn to celebrate your uniqueness through the stories of alumni who have built success by knowing who they are and what they and others have to offer.


Shalini Saldanha BSc, BE ‘98
Principal Advisor, Rio Tinto

DJ Lim BCom ‘11
Director, JLL

Fadzi Whande GradCertSocImp ’14, EMBA ‘15
Principal Consultant Workforce Diversity

Megan McCracken BA ’88, MIR ‘94
Owner and Principal, Pleiades Global


Leesa Markussen BA(Hons) '15
Senior Policy Advisor, Department of the Premier and Cabinet of WA