Fleur Maidment (1987)

I have stayed connected to Wyvern friends since my time at Queen’s and have been fortunate to connect with other Wyverns and University of Melbourne alumni when living overseas. It is heartening to have an ongoing association with Queen’s through the Outer Metropolitan Scholarship, which has supported women from diverse backgrounds to access the great opportunities at Queen’s, and is now working with Evangelia Wichmann (2020) to use our knowledge, skills and connections to help people less fortunate than ourselves. The connections and friendships formed at Queen’s lead to positive outcomes for society.  

I’m one of the lucky cohorts who met their life partners at Queen’s College. Together, Daniel Moorfield (1989) and I have balanced our careers and interests, and have been able to live in Ballarat, Shanghai, Singapore and Melbourne. 

My most outrageous memory of Queen’s is singing American Pie in formal dress on the tram between pre-dinner drinks and a college ball. It seemed to shock and amuse the Royal Parade commuters. 

When I first graduated from uni, they needed to build a female toilet for me at the local environment department office. I was catapulted into a very male-dominated industry in agriculture and forestry as a young woman, but I must say my experience at Queen’s during the 1980s was overall very positive and respectful. Naturally, the opportunities at Queen’s need to be open to all, no matter gender, race, religion or background. Being in contact with Evangelia and knowing there has now been 12 female GC Presidents and seeing more females engaged in leadership roles gives me confidence that the future is positive and in good hands. 

I was lucky enough to move to Singapore in 2016, and due to the proximity to Myanmar, I took an interest in the environmental challenges that the country was facing. I first travelled to Myanmar with a former refugee, Thablay – now living in Nhill, Australia. We identified that helping villagers and displaced people care for their water catchments and gain access to clean water was a high priority – one that would save lives and prevent many of the diseases we observed spreading, such as diarrhoea, cholera and typhoid. Together, we founded Safe Water for Every Child – Myanmar, and since then we have established a team of local staff and trained them to test water, install water filters and educate their communities about water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH). What started as a small program escalated due to the military coup in February 2021 and we quickly mobilised our staff to give humanitarian assistance to the thousands of people fleeing. To date, we have given over 65,000 people safe drinking water in villages, schools and camps in the region. 

An offshoot of the organisation was establishing an English tutoring program during Covid. Queen’s College jumped on board, and we were able to match students on the Thai-Myanmar border with native English speakers to continue their English practice while they could not attend school. One of the tutors who volunteered was former college president, Evangelia Wichmann (2021). Recently, we travelled together to meet her tutoring student in Thailand, and she stayed on to teach at Thoo Mweh Khee Migrant Learning Centre and work with the Safe Water for Every Child team. In a few short months, she saw a critical need and set up a First Aid and Health Hub for the school, with its 2,200 students and surrounding community of largely displaced people.

Link to Safe Water for Every Child


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