Evangelia Wichmann (2020)

Queen’s College is synonymous with “home” for me. Spending the entire COVID lockdown within the castle and having the honour of serving as the 2022 President were defining aspects of my time at the College, making Queen’s a place that continues to hold great significance in my life. Queen’s College is not merely the picturesque castle with its diverse corridors and lively Quad; it transcends into an institution formed by its dedicated community. It is an ever-evolving community; during my three years there, I witnessed significant changes in culture and mindsets. This dynamism fills me with hope, as Queen’s College nurtures leaders of today and tomorrow, constantly evolving to become a more modern and future-focused institution.

Residing at Queen’s opened doors to opportunities I would not have had otherwise. I drew inspiration from the student leaders, formed valuable Wyvern connections, found mentors, established internship connections, received career guidance, and accessed mental health support that has played a pivotal role in shaping my life. The academic rigour within the castle, surrounded by highly intelligent individuals driven by their own passions, fueled my drive to continually strive for more. Queen’s was a multiplier; everything I invested came back to me tenfold.

By the time I left, Queen’s was at the forefront among the Melbourne colleges, and Australia, in terms of reporting and addressing sexual harassment. I am proud of Queen’s for its proactive approach to addressing this complex issue. I am confident that Queen’s will continue to evolve its multi-layered approach to ensure the safety and well-being of current and future Queeners.

In the next 50 years, I hope for a greater emphasis on amplifying the voices of the current cohort and taking more substantial action on climate change. Queen’s holds immense potential to champion environmental causes and move beyond mere words and mainstream actions to effect meaningful change. In keeping with the Sugden tradition, I encourage Wyverns to extend trust and support to the current voices within the community and to embrace emerging voices. 

My involvement as an online English tutor for Safe Water, which began at Queen’s, eventually led to my journey to Thailand and the Thai-Myanmar border, where I taught bachelor courses to Karen refugees and worked with the Safe Water Team in person. This opportunity allowed me to work with Fleur Maidment (Wyvern 1987) to propose a future exchange program for Queen’s students with Safe Water for Every Child, allowing Queen’s College students to travel to Thailand and contribute to the development of the bachelor’s program and assist the team at the Thai-Myanmar border. I had the privilege of witnessing and assisting Fleur and the Safe Water Team in their inspirational work. During those two months, I initiated the challenging task of establishing a first aid office at a migrant school attended by 2,200 undocumented students. I have since relocated to Paris to pursue a dual master’s degree at Sciences Po and the London School of Economics, focusing on International Development and Political Economy.

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