Dr Annabelle Workman (nee Crawford) (2005)

Queen’s means (long live!) Kernick, Commencement and Valedictory dinners, turns, the Slab, board games, ‘The Piano Man’, the Seven Wonders, IFVB, corridors, Bentley Still, the Close, Willie Quick, Puggs, Singing in the Rain. In essence: transformative growth, lifelong friendships and unforgettable experiences.

I met my husband, Jake Workman (Wyvern 2005), in first year at Queen’s. He was a spirited exchange student from the US who had never been overseas before. I flew over to meet his family at the end of first year on the sage advice of the beloved and longest-serving current Queen’s staff member, Lisa Turner. Jake flew back to Australia on a one-way ticket a year after we met. We spent a decade living at Queen’s between 2005 and 2019. With the support of the community, I completed Honours and a PhD and we raised two young children. To say that Queen’s has profoundly shaped my personal and professional life is an understatement.

While living in Queen’s there were several formidable female Presidents and Vice-Presidents of the Queen’s College General Committee, Middle Common Room and Senior Common Room who, along with their male and female peers, sought to advance the College and address the patriarchal structures upon which the College was founded. One of the most important changes during my time was the promotion of women to leadership positions on staff, including the first Dean of Studies, Dr Brenda Holt. There were already wonderful women working tirelessly to support the students in the library, in Eakins, in housekeeping and in administrative roles. In the next 50 years, I hope that the College appoints a female Head and updates the title of ‘Master’ accordingly.

I have many incredible memories from my decade spent at Queen’s. I’ll never forget the excitement in the lead-up to, and during, Orientation Week, waking up early every morning to the Fresher song, and in later years, Luke Million’s song, ‘Arnold’. But my favourite annual event was Rowing Day, waking up to Andrea Bocelli’s ‘Time to Say Goodbye’. I was lucky enough to row or coach over a number of years while in and out of residence. It was always an intense six weeks of training, but worth every minute. The year we won all four races – Women’s and Men’s First and Second VIII – was a celebration like no other.

I’m currently a postdoctoral research fellow at Melbourne Climate Futures, a University of Melbourne initiative that enhances interdisciplinary research and translation efforts on climate change, and amplifies efforts to accelerate the transition to a climate positive future. My broad area of research is climate change and human health, and I’m privileged to collaborate with researchers, policy makers and advocates who are progressing the development of healthier climate and energy policies, including the establishment and implementation of the first National Health and Climate Strategy.

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