Justine Adams (nee Johnston) (2003)

Queen’s College has been for me, as I suspect for many others, an enormously formative experience which has remained within the fabric of my story throughout the decades that followed in my life. The friends I made at Queen’s have remained our closest community, have seen us through many changes and challenges and are indeed more like family now. Watching their lives flourish from those early O-week days and through the years that came after has been one of life’s true pleasures.

The assurance being a “Queener” has provided from a professional and academic perspective has been one I must remind myself to never take for granted.  Everywhere I have travelled professionally I have found myself crossing paths with a fellow Queener and forging an immediate bond, no matter the years we each attended. This, on the whole, makes a very big and scary world appear much more manageable as we travel through it. Having two brothers (Duncan Johnston Wyvern 2001, Nick Johnston 2007) who both also went through Queen’s has reinforced the connectedness of shared experience between us too, for which I’ll forever be grateful.

Since I attended Queen’s myself I have had the distinct impression that the women moving through College have continued to get smarter, more courageous, assertive and capable. What a wonderful thing. I’m proud every time I meet a woman who has travelled through after me, having being made aware of the brilliant minds moulding our world with each new generation. My impression is that modern female and/or gender-diverse Queener’s are far more confident of their right to be where they are, assertive of the value they add and able to advocate for their own safety than I believe I was at the same age. In particular, in meeting Queener’s at Women in Stem events, I’ve seen them demonstrate their capability to excel, thrive and advance in their chosen fields beyond what I could have imagined. This is an enormously encouraging trend to have the privilege to observe and my hope for Queen’s is that it will continue to strive toward being an environment which can provide the ideal substrate for women and gender-diverse young people starting out their professional and academic careers to feel safe to flourish, to realise and reach their full potential. 

I live in a wonderful community in the Western Suburbs of Melbourne with my husband Sam (Wyvern 2003) and my two young boys.  In my professional life, I am a children’s physiotherapist and researcher at Murdoch Children’s Research Institute and Royal Children’s Hospital. There, I am lucky to be able to pursue my passion in supporting children living with chronic disease clinically and working within scientific endeavours to progress best-practice, minimally invasive healthcare and research through digital projects. 

In the past few years, I have also had the privilege of publishing a children’s book Goodnight Toes, with my second book Love you always being released in September this year. What a joy it has been to participate in the world of children’s literature whilst having children of a similar age myself. 

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