AFTER 36 years leading the way to further education, La Trobe University’s Dr Elizabeth Lavender is saying farewell at the end of this year, to a profession she has cherished for most of her professional life.
120 people attended a special farewell party last week where it was announced the ‘Elizabeth Lavender Access Scholarship’ would be available from 2014 in honour of the dedication Liz has provided. The scholarship will be valued at $3,000 per year for three years and will be awarded each year to a Shepparton undergraduate student who meets the eligibility criteria.
Liz began her professional life in 1970 working as a registered nurse in South Africa before moving to London and then Australia.
She commenced her academic career in 1977 as a lecturer at the, then, Lincoln Institute of Health Sciences. When Lincoln became part of La Trobe University in 1988, Liz continued to work in nursing education across the Melbourne, Albury-Wodonga, and Bendigo campuses. Liz became Deputy Head of the School of Nursing in 1990 and she served in that role for nine years. She was then appointed as Deputy Dean in the Faculty of Health Sciences. In 2005, after six years as Deputy Dean, Liz took up the role of Head of Campus in Shepparton and has continued to lead the campus to this day.
Liz said, “I have very mixed feelings about leaving but I am pleased that I’ve seen the university here in Shepparton grow in student numbers.
“What I find rewarding is mature age students have said to me that having studied at La Trobe has changed their life and that makes it all worth while for me.
“The new building in Shepparton was a big highlight. Students now have access to a whole range of services, activities and opportunities for personal and professional development, that they didn’t have before.
“I am looking forward to spending more time with my family and there might be a little travel in my future,” Liz said.
Taking over as Acting Shepparton Campus Director once Liz departs, Sue Nalder said, “Liz’s wealth of knowledge and experience of the university sector, along with her strong relationships, has been so positive for our Shepparton Campus.
“On behalf of the staff, thanks for your wonderful support, Liz,” Sue said.