Clara Sandona (2022)

When I think of my favourite memories of Queen’s, I think of lunches together in the MCR quad. Simple, I know, but wholesome, and very well-needed on those days we were cooped up in our rooms in front of our laptops. You don’t realise how valuable being able to connect and share in experiences with others is for your mental health whilst studying.

I had lived in college in Brisbane during my bachelors, so wasn’t looking to repeat that same experience when I moved to Queen’s. I was however looking for my interstate move to be as easy as possible, and to find a community I could contribute to and simultaneously be supported by. Joining the MCR at Queen’s therefore just made sense. My year at Queen’s was quite jam-packed as I was working a few jobs alongside my studies, but somehow the MCR always brought a sense of calm and stability to my schedule. I am forever grateful for incredible friendships I was able to forge at Queen’s, and feel very lucky to have had both the undergraduate and postgraduate college experience.

Queen’s is a place where so many different people from diverse walks of life and fields of study/work come together to share in experiences, and I think that is just so incredible. I have met so many amazing people that I don’t think I would have met elsewhere, and have been given opportunities (such as becoming an editor and proof-reader!), that I’m not sure I would have gotten elsewhere, and I am very grateful to Queen’s for that.

As a very recent Wyvern of Queen’s, I am now living and teaching in London. I studied and taught in Brisbane before moving to the University of Melbourne to complete my master’s degree in education. Upon graduating, I set off travelling, and have now settled to teach in Kensington (to save up for some more travel during school holidays.)

I feel very lucky to have entered my adult/working life in a time where the light (with increasing brightness) is being shone on the inclusion, treatment, history, and contributions of women within our society, and have seen what incredible, intelligent, and empowered communities of women Colleges like Queen’s holds. I do see however, room for improvement in some of our more traditional educational institutions, where male-dominance and female subservience is more deeply ingrained in both the institution itself and its wider community. I see an increase in female leadership as a vehicle for this change, and hope that these steps can be made sooner rather than later within the next 50 years.

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