Alumni Profiles

Derry Doyle
Graduate Certificate in Marketing, 2015
In September of 2015, halfway through my postgraduate Marketing studies at The University of Notre Dame Australia, I applied for two opportunities that landed in my student inbox. I was hopelessly underqualified for both but figured that it would be good application-writing practise for future employment. In October, I was gobsmacked to discover that my first application was successful – three months later I was in a plane with nine other Australians enroute to Seoul in South Korea for a seven-week business internship. We experienced Korean culture first-hand (through homestay accommodation, language and culture classes), learned valuable business skills, tasted delicious delicacies, made friends for life and represented Australia with pride.
A month after returning to Perth, I was in the air once again – this time bound for Turkey where I would join the Young Endeavour (Australia’s national sail training vessel) for the fourth leg of her 2015 World Voyage. It was an honour to represent Australia once more at the Centenary Commemorations in Anzac Cove at the start of the voyage. Before joining Young Endeavour, I had never sailed a day in my life. Since then, I’ve spent six months as a seaman, visiting 17 countries, sailing with the Royal Navy of Oman and travelling more than 6500 nautical miles in the process. This report was written in Portugal where I’m preparing for a 21 day Atlantic crossing.
Folks, check your student emails, apply for every opportunity and grab the bull by the horns. You never know where it might lead you.

Prudence Myers
Bachelor of Behavioural Science, major Legal Studies, 2008, Bachelor of Laws (Honours), 2014
My journey began in 2008, when I was fortunate to secure a graduate Policy Officer position at the then Department of Local Government and Regional Development. The first degree I obtained from The University of Notre Dame Australia, a Bachelor of Behavioural Science with a Major in Legal Studies, left me well placed for this role, which required a hybrid skill set.
I returned to Notre Dame in 2010 to complete a Bachelor of Laws. I chose Notre Dame based on my previous experience there. Its small class sizes and friendly, inclusive approach by all staff and students appeal to everyone; whether you were an undergraduate coming straight out of school or a mature-age student wishing to further your studies.
Upon completing my degree I secured a promotion, successfully obtaining a position as a Senior Legislation and Strategy Officer in the Department of Local Government Communities’ Intergovernmental Relations Unit. In this role I developed and influenced Commonwealth law as well as State law.
A year on I have just begun a new venture – a secondment at the Department of Health as a Senior Legislative Advisor, in its Legal and Legislative Services Division. Working for Government I get to see my work impact upon the community. This role and my last include: project management; reviewing and interpreting legislation; responding to legislative queries; researching, liaising with in-house solicitors, State Solicitor’s Office and Parliamentary Counsel’s Office; representing the department on various state and national working groups; and assisting the Minister during progression of Bills through Parliament, including preparing cabinet submissions, explanatory memoranda and second reading speeches.
Notre Dame’s Law degree has helped me succeed in these roles by refining my practical skills in relation to file management, public speaking, presentation, researching and writing.
Whether you choose government or business, or something else entirely, a Law degree at Notre Dame will give you a good basis in reasoning and communication – two of the most essential skills in any walk of life.

Carly Hill
Diploma of Nursing, 2014
I started studying my Diploma of Nursing at The University of Notre Dame Australia’s Broome Campus in 2013. Nursing was a career choice I had considered for many years but decided to put on hold until my children were of school age. My husband, our three children and I moved to Broome in 2012 from Sydney for a lifestyle change and it was then that I decided it was time for me to fulfil my career choice of becoming a nurse. Being a mature-age student, I found completing my Diploma of Nursing was a useful pathway to achieve my goal as a Registered Nurse. The staff at Notre Dame made me feel extremely welcome and were always available when needed.
Having the flexibility of being able to participate and listen to lectures from home through Collaborate was a great advantage when studying with children.
When I graduated from my Diploma of Nursing as an Enrolled Nurse, I was able to start working casually at Broome Hospital with the foundation skills to confidently practise within my field whilst continuing my study.
I am currently continuing my studies at Notre Dame, completing my Bachelor of Nursing.

Holly Imber-Ireland
Bachelor of Nursing, 2013
I came to the Broome Campus from the cold and snowy mountains of Tasmania in 2010.
Whilst at Notre Dame, I came to understand the philosophies and foundations of nursing practice while gaining a diverse experience working with the Aboriginal people of the Kimberley. The unique clinical experiences that I received as a student nurse allowed me to develop quality nursing skills that I continue to use every day.
Upon completion of my degree, I moved to Fremantle to commence my Graduate Registered Nurse Program at Fremantle Hospital. Over the next 12 months I consolidated and expanded my nursing knowledge and skills with an emphasis on best practice. My position as a Graduate Registered Nurse gave me insight and experience in a variety of clinical areas and the program provided me with the support and guidance during my first year as a Registered Nurse.
The University’s dedication to providing their students with rural placement options fuelled my passion to work in the outback, and after completing my graduate program, I returned to the Kimberley to begin my Diploma of Midwifery via distance education.
At present, I am six months into an 18 month Midwifery course and my passion in providing nursing care to rural and remote communities has only enhanced.
I hope one day, in the not too distant future, to be providing nursing and midwifery skills either by air in the form of the Royal Flying Doctors Service or on the ground working within remote communities. Wherever I am placed, I will always hold a strong connection with Norte Dame Broome Campus and remember what is like to leave a Pindan footprint.

Sharon Davis
Bachelor of Education (K-7), 2013
I completed a Bachelor of Education (K-7) at The University of Notre Dame Australia in my hometown of Broome in August of 2013. Two weeks later, I headed over to the United Kingdom to begin a Master of Science in Applied Linguistics and Second Language Acquisition at the University of Oxford. It was a challenging, but rewarding experience that I shared with my husband and two children, and my family and community back home. I received wonderful support from The Aurora Education Foundation, the Roberta Sykes Foundation, and members of Notre Dame family. Without their support I would not have been successful.
I have recently started my new role as Team Leader of the Aboriginal Education Team with Catholic Education Western Australia. I look forward to working across the Catholic education system, with my team, students, schools, and communities to further the work of Catholic education in developing the capacity of all staff in their understanding of Aboriginal culture, and to enhance the Catholic education experience for Aboriginal students and their families.
Catholic education is committed to doubling the number of Aboriginal students and Aboriginal staff in our system. The work of the team I lead is vital to this goal.

Jacques Sidonie
Master of Arts – Theological Studies, 2012
Although I had completed a ‘Master of Business in Financial Services’ degree at the end of 2006 at The University of Technology Sydney, I felt there was still a gap in enhancing my Catholic Faith. Whilst I was involved in church activities in my parish, it was not until early 2010 that I started my Catholic tertiary studies. One afternoon as I was about to catch the train at St James station, I saw opposite the train platform this wall advertisement on The University of Notre Dame Australia. The next day I phoned and started the application process. I was admitted as a part-time student in 2011 (as I work full time at the ‘Australian Prudential Regulation Authority’). After two years of study and overwhelming support from Notre Dame’s academics, I finally achieved my dream, graduating in December 2012 with a Master of Arts — Theological Studies (Coursework). I soon realised that this was just the stepping stone of learning more about my faith.

At the end of 2012, Bishop Peter Ingham of the Diocese of Wollongong instituted me as an Acolyte. At the beginning of 2013, I was appointed by my Parish Priest of the Holy Family Catholic Church in Ingleburn as Chair of the Parish Pastoral Council. I continue to attend courses provided by the staff of the Diocese of Wollongong to strengthen my faith.

Early in October 2013, my wife and I did a pilgrimage tour to Italy (Rome, Assisi and San Giovanni Rotondo). We revisited the Vatican Museum in Rome and the Basilica of St Francis in Assisi. For the first time, both of us visited the new Basilica of St Padre Pio in San Giovanni Rotondo.

Whilst my wife had to return to Sydney, I joined a group of Australians and continued my pilgrimage in Jordan and Israel. I was able to better understand what I had learnt at Notre Dame. I lived my faith in both the Old and the New Testament.

Bridget McConnell
Bachelor of Nursing, 2010
I studied for my Bachelor of Nursing at The University of Notre Dame Australia, Sydney, under a highly supportive education team. Looking back on my time as an undergraduate, I couldn’t be happier that I chose to take this journey with Notre Dame. The School of Nursing prepared me for the high tech, fast-paced and quickly changing clinical environment. Although I was nervous when I officially became a Registered Nurse, I was confident that I had received the essential education necessary to fulfil my new role. The staff at Notre Dame encouraged me to further my studies by completing my honours. The findings of my study have been published in the Journal of Clinical Nursing and I presented these findings at an international nursing research conference in Hong Kong; a fantastic experience!

Since graduating, I have divided my time between working in the Intensive Care Unit of a Sydney hospital and as a sessional tutor, teaching first and second year Notre Dame Nursing students. I enjoy the mix between practical nursing and teaching. At present I am undertaking my Graduate Certificate in University Teaching and have recently become a clinical facilitator for the University. My aim is to pursue a career in nursing education, but I don’t know what the future holds, and that’s the beauty of could take me anywhere!

Emma Lambert
Bachelor of Education (Birth-Twelve Years), 2010
When I started at The University of Notre Dame Australia, the Sydney Campus had only been open for a year and there were around 2000 students. When I completed my studies, this number had doubled and continues to grow. Everyone studying Primary Education, Early Education and other degrees all seemed to know each other and it was a very friendly and communal atmosphere.
While I was at university, I worked for KU Children’s Services as a childcare worker and also a support teacher for children with special needs. Following this experience, I was very lucky to be offered a one-year block at Meadowbank Public School which ended up turning into more than three years of work. I taught Year One for just over a year, a Year Three class for a year, and a composite class of Years 3 and 4 for another year. At Meadowbank, I implemented the debating program, coached and trained PSSA softball, was an Active After School Sport coach, organised the Public Speaking Competition, as well as the Knitting and Chess Clubs, just to name a few.
I then commenced work at Ermington Public School when I taught a Year Four class for three terms. This year I have been asked to teach the Reading Recovery program. I am also teaching library for a Year Two and a Year Six class, supporting mathematics groups for Years One, Five and Six, and doing school sport..
I still remember my first lecture where we were told to look around the room and at the people we would be lifelong friends with. This has in fact turned into reality as I am still close friends with my previous fellow classmates and lecturers at Notre Dame. I wish everyone all the best in their career and I hope students’ experiences at Notre Dame are as beneficial and memorable as mine was.

Dr Rohan Carter
Bachelor of Medicine / Bachelor of Surgery (MBBS), 2009
I started studying Medicine at Notre Dame after working as a registered nurse. During my time in nursing, I developed a deep respect for Aboriginal people and a genuine concern for the many issues that we effecting this group. I started medicine with a vague idea that I would one day work as a GP in Aboriginal health....This became more than a vague idea after the Kimberley trip in our second year!
I was inspired to commit to working full-time in this much needed area.
After graduation, I worked for two years in the hospital system before being accepted into GP training. My first 18 months were at the Geraldton Aboriginal Medical Service, where I learnt that one of the fundamental aspects of "Closing the gap" is in developing chronic disease management, both for those with chronic disease and those at risk of chronic disease.
I then spent 12 months in the Kimberley. During my time at the Ord Valley Aboriginal Health Service, I was involved in the development of their chronic disease program. I was honoured and humbled to be awarded joint winner of the WAGPET 2014 GP Registrar of the year award for my work with that program. Very humbled as I was acknowledged for doing something that I love and would do for free.
I truly value my time spent at Notre Dame. I believe that this not only made me a better doctor, but a better person.
I am back at the Geraldton Aboriginal Medical Service now and am enjoying teaching Notre Dame medical students who come to us for GP placements.

Janaya Cox
Bachelor of Behavioral Science (Honours), 2009
Since graduating in 2009, I have worked in a number of policy roles within the disability portfolio of the NSW Department of Family and Community Services. I am presently working in a leadership role contributing to the transition of the Southern Region of NSW to the National Disability Insurance Scheme. My region spans Goulburn, Yass, Queanbeyan, the Snowy River, Cooma-Monaro, Bega Valley, Eurobodalla and everywhere in between!
Notre Dame excelled my career by providing the opportunity to explore the broader impact of social policies on communities, social institutions and government. I was encouraged to challenge my preconceptions, think outside the box and propose unique and innovative solutions to social problems. I also enjoyed the wonderfully supportive environment and their genuine commitment to their students. Without their support, I would not have gained the skills, knowledge and confidence that have allowed me to play a role in such an important generational reform. I am continuing my learning journey with ongoing postgraduate study in public policy and public sector management and look forward to continuing to contribute to the ongoing disability reforms.

Jemma Rowe
Bachelor of Laws / Bachelor of Commerce (Accounting), 2008
I graduated from The University of Notre Dame Australia’s Fremantle Campus in 2008 with a Bachelor of Laws/Commerce (Accounting). I worked with Clayton Utz in their Sydney office from March 2009 until July 2012. Since August 2012 I have been with Bingham McCutchen in Hong Kong. I am a financial services lawyer, specialising in funds management.

Kevin Grima
Bachelor of Health and Physical Education (Secondary) with High Distinction, 2007
Studying for my degree enabled me to combine my passions for sport and teaching. My first job was at a soccer specialist school, where I was able to apply my learning to empower students to reach their potential. I felt blessed to be given the job of coaching a cohort of talented footballers, who went on to win the State Championship in 2010. The following year, I developed an appetite for further studies in education and enrolled into a Master of Education (Leadership & Management) degree, again at Notre Dame. In 2012 I was offered a position as lecturer in the Sport and Fitness department at the Central Institute of Technology (TAFE), which has added to my skills. I recently had the opportunity to represent Notre Dame, and experience victory, in futsal (indoor soccer) against other WA universities. It was one of the many highlights of my time at the University!

Jana Gernhoefer
Bachelor of Commerce / Bachelor of Sport and Recreation Management, 2010
My time at Notre Dame started with being awarded the Roy and Amy Galvin Scholarship in 2007 and I can’t speak highly enough of the education which followed in my four years at the Fremantle Campus. In my penultimate semester I was fortunate enough to be accepted for study abroad at Boston College in the USA, a life changing experience and one I will never forget.

In my second year, through the practicum program, I gained a place at the Fremantle Dockers and went on to apply successfully for a job as a casual Membership Services Assistant, a position which I held until my graduation. I was then offered a short-term contract to look after the club’s group ticketing operations which led to a full-time position as Membership Services Officer. I’m now working as the Commercial Partners Coordinator across the sponsorship and corporate sales departments. I thoroughly enjoy my work, being a passionate Fremantle supporter. Without my Notre Dame education and practicum opportunities, I may not have ended up where I am today. Go Freo!

Fadi Hajjar
Bachelor of Theology, 2014; Bachelor of Arts / Bachelor of Education, 2009
I commenced study as part of the inaugural intake of The University of Notre Dame Australia’s Sydney Campus in 2006, and I recently graduated as the longest continuously enrolled student of the campus.
I graduated with a Bachelor of Theology after previously completing a Bachelor of Arts / Bachelor of Education (Secondary), and witnessing the campus grow from a few hundred students to over 5,000 across multiple sites.
After high school I began working in real estate but was not finding it fulfilling. I had always wanted to do something in theology and when I heard about Notre Dame and its new campus in Sydney I decided to explore the possibilities.
As part of my Bachelor of Arts / Bachelor of Education (Secondary) degree I completed Notre Dame’s Core Curriculum in which all students study theology, philosophy and ethics. This inspired me to pursue further academic interests in this area and eventually enrolled in the Bachelor of Theology program.
What attracted me to theology and philosophy was the opportunity to ask the big questions, and to consider some of the works of the best thinkers of all time. I am thankful that I had the opportunity to seek knowledge and hopefully gain wisdom.
Notre Dame has a real family feel about it. The lecturers and tutors are knowledgeable and approachable and that’s a key reason I wanted to continue with my studies here. The generosity and authentic witness of my lecturers continues to inspire me. I have grown in faith and realise that there is so much more to learn; I am still at the start of this journey.

Tom Belotti
Bachelor of Physiotherapy, 2009
The University of Notre Dame Australia was my university of choice for three main reasons; it offered an adult learning environment, a small student cohort and an emphasis on critical thinking. These same three elements assisted me in developing the practical skills required to successfully push boundaries in the field of Physiotherapy.
I am currently working as an exercise based physiotherapist at Inner Focus Physiotherapy, utilising an innovative approach to rehabilitate clients with pain, movement and injury concerns.
The adult learning environment promoted at Notre Dame has led me to build on my career specific knowledge base with ongoing postgraduate study. The small cohort size encouraged the development of strong interpersonal skills, which is the most useful tool when working in a health-related field. Finally, the emphasis on critical thinking has driven me to continually refer to current evidence based practice and always provide an ethical, client-focussed service.

Andrew Leech
Bachelor of Medicine / Bachelor of Surgery, 2009
Notre Dame’s Medical degree was the perfect platform for my future career and progression as a Doctor.

On moving to Melbourne post graduation, I took up an intern position with Southern Health and quickly became absorbed by the pressures of working in a hospital for the first time. I started in a rural job which was “a little scary at times”, and suddenly became at the front line of looking after patients post-operatively and dealing with emergencies with slightly less support than the big city hospitals. In this first year of working, I covered a wide variety of medicine from psychiatry to palliative care and everything in between.

Following this, I started a paediatric job where he helped look after a paediatric ward and special care nursery, at times taking on a 'registrar' or more senior role when others were not available.

With adrenaline pumping experiences, including resuscitating babies, this job really taught me how to think quickly in critical situations and how to manage the smallest and most fragile of lives. I am now in the final year of a General Practice training pathway and will hopefully obtain my fellowship in this specialty by the end of this year.

Looking back and talking to my fellow Notre Dame graduates, it is hard to believe how far we've come in only a few years. There is no doubt we were given a very good education and one that equipped us for the challenges that we have been faced with and the lifelong career that we are embarking on.

I often think back to key points that were instilled on us during our four years of postgraduate Medicine – not to mention the social benefits of being in such a great part of Perth where I met my beautiful wife!

Samantha Cran
Bachelor of Commerce / Bachelor of Arts, 2009
In 2006, I began the unique experience as a foundation student on Notre Dame’s Sydney Campus. Being part of a new university was an exciting experience.

Whilst studying my Double Degree in Commerce and Arts, I had the chance to gain valuable skills and develop an interest in social justice issues. During this time, I also worked at L’Oreal in their Marketing division which gave me a taste for the corporate world.

After graduating in 2009, I made a leap into ‘Transport and Logistics’, leaving L’Oreal to join the family business in a time of need. It was during this period that I was mentored by one of Australia’s leading young entrepreneurs and philanthropists, Dr Sam Prince. Not your typical entrepreneur, Dr Prince has used the skills he learnt establishing a Mexican food franchise to set up One Disease at a Time, a foundation with the bold aspiration to address neglected and preventable diseases in Australia one by one.

Meeting someone like Dr Prince was incredibly inspiring. I believe that whilst we don’t have a choice about where we’re born, the colour of our skin and who our family is, the opportunity to access health care and education are basic rights to which we’re all entitled.

I now have the privilege of working as the foundation’s Chief Executive Officer which gives me the opportunity to put my passion for the provision of such rights into practice, hopefully inspiring others. I lead a dedicated team who believe that those who can affect the lives of millions through health and education programs have a social obligation to transform that vision into a reality.

Reflecting on my choice of university, my career and everything else in between, I have come to realise that I am drawn to the new, the different and the brave.

My favourite quote... “Dream no small dreams for they have no power to move the hearts of men.” Johann Wolfgang von Goethe.

James Griffin
Bachelor of Arts, (Politics and Communications), 2009.
James was a member of the first graduating cohort of Notre Dame’s Sydney Campus in 2009. In 2012, James was elected Liberal Councillor on Manly Council, becoming one of the youngest local government Councillors in New South Wales. Aside from an active interest in politics, James has been listed twice by SmartCompany as one of Australia’s top ‘30 entrepreneurs under 30’ and in 2011 was named by the NSW Business Chamber as ‘Young Business Person of the Year’.

I thoroughly enjoyed my time at Notre Dame, and it certainly equipped me with many of the skills I use day in and day out in business. I wouldn’t swap the Notre Dame University experience for any other. I had a deep sense of belonging and certainly found my intellectual capacity stretched by some of the most effective lecturers around!

My Notre Dame lecturers were never short on time for students, in particular Dr John Rees. His command and delivery as a lecturer was brilliant, to the point that I still seek his views on all matter of issues today.

I look forward to whatever challenges lay ahead. I think all of us, if we have the opportunity to make an impact for the better, no matter how big or small, should grab that opportunity and there are plenty of avenues to do that in both business or via a more traditional route of public service.

Dr Pallas O’Hara
Bachelor of Medicine / Bachelor of Surgery, 2008
I am currently a rural GP Registrar in East Arnhem working at the Aboriginal Medical Service called Miwatj Health half the week, and the other half at the Gove District Hospital. The work at the hospital involves being on call for the region, including calls from remote outstations and Indigenous Homelands.

I have loved working in Indigenous medicine since my introduction through the MED200 Kimberley trip and my first student placement at the Broome Regional Aboriginal Medical Service. I have the fondest memories of working at BRAMS, and still keep in touch. The GPs working at the hospital were some of the broadest-skilled doctors I had ever met, and their enthusiasm and capability were really inspiring. This influence, plus the great time I had living rurally, got under my skin and I have felt the pull ever since!

Working in the country is so challenging and diverse that it provides an excellent mix. I realised there is so much more to Australia than I ever knew, and now I only wish I had headed out of the big smoke earlier!

Chris Rosario
Bachelor of Laws – First Class Honours, 2007
I am currently a Senior Associate in Allion Legal’s corporate practice group with broad experience in Mergers & Acquisitions, Equity Capital Markets and general corporate advisory work. I have advised in connection with schemes of arrangement, regulated takeovers and private Mergers & Acquisitions transactions as well as a number of fundraisings including rights issues and placings.

I began my legal career at Allens Arthur Robinson, before joining Allion Legal in 2009. While at Allens, I practised in the areas of commercial litigation (specialising in corporate disputes) and mergers and acquisitions. My experience at Allens included acting for Rio Tinto and other multinational corporations.

Some of the significant transactions, both public and private, that I have worked on include:
  • Advising ASX listed Galaxy Resources Limited on its $500 million merger with Canada’s Lithium One Inc, to be effected via a plan of arrangement in Canada.
  • Advised ASX and TSX listed Adamus Resources Limited on its $600 million merger of equals with TSX-listed, Cayman Island incorporated, Endeavour Mining Corporation. Transaction effected through an all-stock merger implemented as a scheme of arrangement under the Australian Corporations Act.
  • Advised ASX listed Perilya Limited on its $110.5 million accelerated non renounceable rights issue (partially underwritten by UBS).

Annabel Keogh (nee Hay)
Bachelor of Laws (Honours) / Bachelor of Arts (Honours) – Major: Politics, 2007
After graduating from The University of Notre Dame Australia’s Law School in 2007, I initially worked as Associate to The Honourable Justice Neville Owen of the Supreme Court of Western Australia, assisting in the delivery of the historical Bell Group judgment, one of Australia's longest-running legal proceedings.

Following completion of articles at law firm Jackson MacDonald, I worked as a communications and external affairs advisor both for an international advisory firm and in-house. I specialise in advice related to government relations and regulatory processes and has worked with major listed and non-listed clients, with particular emphasis on the banking, energy, and mining and resources sectors. I also provide advice as a member of a range of not-for-profit Boards and community organisations, drawing on her legal and public relations experience to assist organisations meet their strategic aims.

Notre Dame's Law program assisted my career by providing the opportunity to explore the broader impact of law on business and government, particularly subjects such as legal philosophy and through the honours program. Students were encouraged to look beyond the practical and immediate impact of case law on parties, and consider the effect of precent on future disputes and industry overall. I also enjoyed Notre Dame's supportive environment and genuine interest in students, which provided me both a great education and the confidence to use my experience outside of traditional legal roles.

Jay Walter
Bachelor of Business, 2006
The years have certainly flown by fast since I graduated from Notre Dame. After graduating in 2006, I went to work for Boral Midland Brick in a Sales and Marketing capacity. I’d done my internship there initially so it was great to get a job offer at the end and know I had a job in the workforce waiting for me. I was there for the next year learning a lot and saving money to go travelling.

I backpacked for just under 5 months with my girlfriend (now fiancée) travelling around the world, giving me plenty of time to think about my options when we returned home. I wanted to stay in the construction industry as it’s been a part of my entire life, and chose to go into the family business. Working for Plunkett Homes in Sales, Marketing and Business Development role, I enjoyed working with a variety of people targeting a number of markets. Still in the boom, it was amazing to learn so much with such fierce competition. The WA building industry is known as the most competitive in Australia and is definitely one of the most innovative.

In 2008 I took an opportunity within the family business (JWH Group) to work as General Manager for The Rural Building Company. I’ve been here since and it’s been amazing applying what I learnt in Management at uni, working in such a competitive industry during such a tough time for our economy. I’m engaged and will marry in December this year. I still stay in close contact with a lot of my mates from uni –watching footy at the pub and doing ‘business lunches’ as we share work war stories.

My uni mates and I still reminisce about the uni parties, our awesome lecturers and the social hub that is Notre Dame and Fremantle.

Ganzorig Vanchig
Master of Business Administration, 2004
I came to Notre Dame in 2003 on a Mongolian government scholarship to complete a Master of Business Administration and graduated in 2004.
Upon the completion of my degree, I returned home to Mongolia to work in the Mongolian banking sector before leaving for Japan to obtain a second master’s degree, majoring in electronic business management.
After returning from Japan, I was appointed to undertake organisational restructuring of Shunkhlai Group – a position which gave me business leadership insights into the unique and continually developing sectors of production, services, trade and construction in my home country.
In March 2014, I was one of 214 young leaders from 66 countries around the world to be recognised by the World Economic Forum as a Young Global Leader for “leadership and service to society” (alongside Oscar-winning actress, Charlize Theron) as a 2014 Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum. I was nominated for the award by Professor of Management in Notre Dame’s School of Business in Fremantle, George Kailis, as well as by Minister of Environment and Green Development Mongolia, Oyun Sanjaasuren.
Further to my business endeavours, I am also the founding member of the Down Syndrome Association Mongolia, as well as a board member of the Mongolian Special Olympics Committee.
My career path and current success is definitely connected with Notre Dame where I first learnt western business etiquette. Being mixed with students from diverse backgrounds in the classroom was a great experience as I was able to learn more about Australia and its business practices in a friendly environment

Brenda Robbins
Juris Doctor (High Distinction), 2003
Notre Dame gave me the wonderful opportunity to make a dramatic and rewarding career change. After spending 30 years in the State Public Service, holding a number of senior executive and CEO positions, I decided to take a full-time law degree, and chose Notre Dame, both, because of its excellent reputation, and because it then offered the first and only Juris Doctor (JD) program in Western Australia.
I was in the first group of JD students, who were all mature age students with other qualifications and another career behind them. Consequently, we were probably rather demanding, but I hope, interesting. Importantly we shared a great respect for the high quality of the teaching and the JD program itself.
Following graduation, I took Articles and worked for a large commercial firm in Perth before joining the Western Australian Bar.
The flexibility of working at the Bar has allowed me to participate in community life, and I hold a number of company directorships. I also engage in voluntary work with women and children, both, in Perth and in Tanzania, East Africa.
On International Women’s Day 2014, I was honoured to be “inducted” into the Western Australian Women’s Hall of Fame as acknowledgement of my career and community contributions.
I am very grateful to the Notre Dame for encouraging and inspiring me. Without this I would not have gained the skills, knowledge and confidence to enjoy my amazing career in the Law and community work.

June Oscar
Bachelor of Business, 2004
I am June Oscar from the Bunuba language group of the central Kimberley region of northern Western Australia. It is really interesting where the journey of life can take you post university days. My commitment and interests lie in a wide range of activities including, preservation of Aboriginal languages, social justice and human rights. The recognition of bringing positive programs and supports services especially for remote and regional communities has been a priority.

It has been through my work as CEO at Marninwarntikura Women’s Resource Centre in Fitzroy Crossing and in responding to the call for support from women experiencing daily, the devastating impact of chronic over supply of alcohol on their families and their communities which led me to co-lead a campaign in lobbying for alcohol restrictions in 2007. We achieved these restrictions but it was not without its challenges.

In 2009, I travelled to the United Nations in New York with the Australian Human Rights Commission to share our journey of the alcohol restrictions with the world. This action has led to my involvement as one of the Chief Investigators in the Marulu Strategy and the Lililwan Project focussing on research into Foetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder in the Fitzroy Valley.

This work has opened the door on an issue that impacts on many families in this country. It was through my life experiences and attendance at Notre Dame’s Broome Campus that has given me the tools and the ability to clarify my thoughts and enabled me to confidently articulate my thinking that has led me to not just talk about issues but take action.
Matthew Hawtin
Bachelor of Laws 2000

Toby Hicks
Bachelor of Business 1997, Bachelor of Laws 2001
Matthew Hawtin
I was employed at Steinepreis Paganin when I graduated from Notre Dame in 2000, and except for a year where I travelled overseas, I’ve spent my entire legal career here. I have no doubt my experiences in the class room at Notre Dame helped me when I started, particularly as there was a strong focus on preparing to be a lawyer, and not just learning the law, at Notre Dame.

My work now varies from equity capital market transactions to financial services matters to mining and resources transactions. Toby and I will both be looking to build our practices over the coming years.

Toby Hicks
I started out at a different law firm, but moved across to Steinepreis Paganin after I’d completed my restricted practice year. We now employee a number of Notre Dame law graduates and I try not to miss an opportunity to promote Notre Dame amongst the other Partners.

I have been a Governor of Notre Dame since 2002 after having been actively involved in student government whilst a student. The seven years I spent at Notre Dame, including the semester I spent studying at Notre Dame in the US, have played a major role in shaping who I am today. I feel I owe a great deal to the University and I look forward to being able to contribute to its ongoing development in whatever way I can as it continues to grow.

Lejo Ouwendyk
(Bachelor of Commerce), 1999
Lejo completed his Bachelor of Commerce at Notre Dame in 1999 and is a CPA. As a student of the University he was nominated as the Treasurer of the Student Association and remains an active alumni member.
Currently Lejo is the Managing Director of Kennerlys, a successful, highly-reputed, mid-tier accountancy firm which specialises in taxation, self-managed Superannuation and family business services.
Lejo has received many awards and recognitions throughout his career, including being on the “CPA IN THE BLACK” 40 Young Business Leaders List for 2012, WA Business News “40under40” award winner in 2011 and under his leadership, Kennerlys was named Best Accountancy Firm in its category in the prestigious BRW 2013 Client Choice Awards – testament to his world-class client service.
A respected and generous member of his community, Lejo regularly contributes to local and wider communities and charities such as Heart Kids WA, The Smith Family, Awareness Cambodia and St Vincent de Paul – through his participation in the past six “Vinnies CEO Sleepout” events. Additionally, Lejo supported and managed the building of a dormitory for 40 orphaned children in Kenya.
Married with three young daughters, Lejo balances work with family time and recreational interests such as kayaking, squash and triathlons.

Erica Bernard
Certificate IV in Education (ATSI), 1998
Born in Broome, I attended St. Mary’s School in Broome and St. Joachim’s in Perth. After graduation I returned to Broome to work as a Teaching Assistant at St. Mary’s. After having my three wonderful daughters, I completed Certificates III and IV by 1998, at The University of Notre Dame Australia’s Broome Campus.
As a traditional Yawuru/Giga woman, I have had the pleasure for many years welcoming people to Yawuru land by conducting with my Auntie Cissy a smoking ceremony at our Campus Graduation Ceremonies, which has always been a Campus for Reconciliation.
Currently, I work at Catholic Education Office in Broome as a School Community Consultant and part-time for the Bishop of Broome in the capacity of Kimberley Youth Coordinator. The Most Reverend Christopher Saunders, the Bishop of Broome, appointed me as Diocesan Coordinator of the 2008 World Youth Day in Sydney. This whole experience was a cathartic time for me. While still maintaining my Aboriginal spirituality, the World Youth Day experience strengthened my Catholic faith. The highlight of my World Youth Day experience was being in the guard of honour when we greeted His Holiness, Pope Benedict.
Because of my Sydney World Youth Day experience, I served two terms on the Australian Catholic Youth Committee which brings the Catholic youth of Australia together to share our faith.
I continue to work at CEO and with the Bishop of Broome. I have recently been part of a committee which interviews applicants for Principal positions for the Kimberley and which undertakes reviews of our Catholic schools. I enjoy sharing my Catholic faith and Aboriginal Spirituality with others.