My Melbourne with Catherine Gow

April 14 / 133

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Hello and welcome to My Melbourne. I’m Stavroula Psonis and today I’m with Catherine Gow.

What is your official title?

It’s Senior Consultant, Fairness and Diversity.

How long have you been with the University?

It’s coming up to nine years in May.

What is a typical day like for you?

With the sort of work I do, there is no typical day. The work goes from answering concerns that staff or students might express about inappropriate behaviour they have perhaps experienced or seen. Giving advice, running workshops on discrimination, sexual harassment and bullying for staff and students. Running projects, enquiries, policies. It can be really, really varied which is one of the absolute joys of the job from my point of view, I never get bored.

What is your favourite thing about working for the University?

I have a couple of favourite things. I do like the work, and the diversity of the work as it allows me to meet all sorts of people across the University, so I see that as one of the absolute joys of working at the University. I also love the grounds, in particular the System Garden that is one of my special places.

Do you have a favourite place for food or drinks on campus?

Certainly first thing in the morning it’s Pronto, great coffee. During the day it really depends what’s on my path as I’m walking through the campus as I’m out and about a lot I can pick up a coffee on my way.

Since you have been here is there any advice that you have received you’d like to share with us?

I guess one of the pieces of advice I received a while ago which has always resonated with me and I’ve told other people about - I think there is a culture in Australia of not raising concerns, ‘let’s not dob in’, that sort of language, but it is importance to speak out if you see something. I’ve always held very strongly to that, if each of us sees something that is not right we should say something about it.

Does your office have any events or campaigns it has been involved in recently you’d like to share with us?

Certainly the highlight this week has been launching the University’s support for the  ‘Racism.It Stops With Me’ campaign. That was launched on Monday it was really positive to see staff and students being so concerned and involved in the campaign. Now that the launch has happened we have a website on strategies people can use to combat racism and have conversations with their children at home about this issue. I have been working on getting those resources together and next week I’m starting on a series of racial literacy workshops for staff who want to build up their racial capacity across the University.

Finally, is there something your colleagues might not know about you but you would like to share with us?

Most of my colleagues probably wouldn’t know that on weekends my partner and I hit the road on our Harley motorbikes and we have an absolute ball on the back of our Harley bikes.

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