Long-serving Deakin Warrnambool lecturer retires

ANNA MacGarvey’s tertiary education career started as a student and finished 34 years later as a respected lecturer.

Dr MacGarvey has called time on her career at Warrnambool’s Deakin University, having spent most of her life in Australia at the Sherwood Park campus.

After emigrating to Australia from Denmark in 1975, Dr MacGarvey signed up as a mature-age, non-English speaking, social science student at the then Warrnambool Institute of Advanced Education in 1980.

She said her decision to study was aimed at gaining a better understanding of her new society.

She completed her undergraduate degree in 1983 and then found part-time work as a research assistant and tutor in sociology before taking on a full-time sociology post. Dr MacGarvey also lectured in women’s studies and sustainability.

She said there had been major shifts in tertiary direction over the years — including coming under the Deakin umbrella in 1990 — but the campus continued to play a vital role in the local community and giving regional students educational opportunities.

The move to online course delivery was one of the biggest changes she had experienced in tertiary education.

“The notion of a full-time student is not the same as when I studied,” she said.

“I can see the value of online education in that it provides flexibility that is important for students, particularly those who work part-time or full-time.

“However, it doesn’t provide the community interaction, which is what I really enjoyed as a student.”

Dr MacGarvey said she couldn’t have achieved as much as she had without the benefit of free university educations.

“Tertiary education was free when I was a student thanks to Gough Whitlam and I very much doubt I would have been able to study if that wasn’t the case,” she said.

And she said the then member for Wannon, Malcolm Fraser, had used his influence to retain the Warrnambool facility when other similar institutes had been closed.

In retirement Dr MacGarvey plans to continue living in Port Fairy but “at a slower pace”, more travel and volunteering.

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