Gladys Chua (2005)

College is about community made up of so many interesting people to meet, from different places, across varied disciplines far different to my own. 

Queen’s afforded me an opportunity to attend Melbourne University, where I undertook courses in music and economics. Moving from interstate, without Queen’s, I don’t think I would have flourished in my studies in the same way, nor had such immediate community. I ended up living in Melbourne for almost ten years, which was a hugely formative time for me as I transitioned from high school student to adult. I still have some very close friends from my time at Queen’s, even though our lives have now taken very different turns, and we live in different places across Australia.

A fond memory is the absolute glee of trying to outdo each other in kindness playing ‘Angels and Mortals’, or finding a perfectly suited gift for Secret Santa. Or fish and chip Friday! I don’t think I’ve ever eaten so much fish and chips in my life…thankfully I realised that grilled fish was an option before May Bomb became Every Month Bomb!

I think I’ve been pretty fortunate to live in an era where women have been encouraged to pursue their best in whatever field. There definitely are more pressures for women now to be extraordinary in their career and family life (if they choose both), which I think is fairly unsustainable and a huge expectation. I’d like to see a more realistic and generous move towards expectations of women who choose career and/or family, a recognition that all choices have costs, and that’s okay. I’d like to see that women have equal opportunities to explore their interests (which I think is well on its way), and remunerated and championed according to merit.

I am working as a professional classical pianist. This encompasses a range of different activities, usually working with other musicians (from little children to professionals), accompanying and performance coaching. I hold roles as Associate Lecturer and Repetiteur at The University of Western Australia, (working with undergraduate classical voice students), Accompanist at Penrhos College (working with Year 1-12 students across all instruments and styles, playing for choirs, and all College concerts and events), Accompanist for the West Australian Symphony Orchestra Chorus, and where time permits, freelance activities of more performing and accompanying. Life sure is very musical, but I also like to find time to discover fun things to do and places to eat around Perth with my husband. 

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