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Who are our Members


Our Membership holds a diverse range of disciplines, life stages and backgrounds. Being part of such a collegiate allows our Members to participate in lifelong learning with some of the brightest minds from round the globe.

Nina Bliznina

Natalia Bliznina

I am an international student undertaking a graduate coursework degree at The University of Melbourne. I chose my accommodation option at Graduate House for the first Semester of my master’s program. This experience was very challenging for me and has brought into my life a range of fascinating people. The Graduate House residential community is flexible and multicultural. It provided me with both moral and technical support for the whole duration of the semester.

Australian School of Applied Management (ASAM)

GSA

ASAM held a Graduation Ceremony following the Advanced Leadership Program Day 8. The event was held on the evening of 20th January 2015 in the combined Stillwell and Ian Potter Room. ASAM has established a respected position at the forefront of applied management education in Australia over the last twelve years and, in that time, has partnered with thousands of Australian organisations.

The Cherry Family

Cherry family

The Cherry family visited Graduate House in March. Seated on the left are Diana (wife of Winston), Stephen and Diana (wife of Edward); and on the right, Winston, Ruth (wife of Stephen) and Edward. The three Cherry brothers have all been Life members for over fifty years and came in to celebrate their birthdays, which all fell in the months of January and February. Winston and his wife Diana reside in Canada and were visiting Melbourne.

Residents Christmas Party 2015

Residents Christmas Party

Yes, this year we hosted another successful Christmas in July party with frivolous festivities, hearty meals and delectable desserts. With a visit from one St. Nicholas to spread further cheer and give the gift of delicious sweets, this year’s party left all who attended with grins even the Grinch could not steal. With our very own MC, the night started in full swing with a beautiful serve of meze by our in-house culinary team including a fine selection of seafood and Mediterranean delights. The main course consisted of beautifully roasted turkey with all the trimmings, plus wonderul sides. Our hat goes off to Chefs Nelson and Basma.

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As the merriment continued, a mellifluous chanting filled the air as the the night even saw Graduate House staff partaking in a spot of karaoke with a jovial rendition of Feliz Navidad – a tune by Puerto Rican singer José Feliciano. Karaoke was not reserved only for staff, and soon after attendees also took to the stage for their 15 minutes of fame. Renditions of well-known and not-so-well-known pop ditties were enthusiastically performed by brave participants which ultimately delighted the crowd. We witnessed marvellous renditions of Blondie’s Call Me, Beyonce’s Single Ladies, What Does The Fox Say by Norwegian comedy duo Ylvis, and many more. The night also saw a range of raffle ticket winners – we extend our congratulations to the lucky few! Best female singer was Mamani Yumoto, best group singers were those at table six, and best male singer was Kazuhiro Yasunaga. While we grow up to discover the fiction from our youth, we cannot help but feel that a certain St Nicholas still left us with the message: “Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good night!” And from the very wise words of Dr Suess’ the Grinch, “Maybe Christmas doesn’t come from a store, maybe Christmas perhaps, means a little bit more.” Yes indeed, Christmas (in July) at Graduate House means a little bit more thanks to all of our attendees and to the wonderful staff that make it possible!

Linda Graduates!

Resident Linda graduation

Congratulations are extended to Jingyuan Shen (Linda) who graduated with a Master of Management Accounting from The University of Melbourne. Hailing from Shanghai, Linda completed her Bachelor of Finance at LaTrobe University where she received the Dean’s Medal for Academic Excellence, awarded annually to the highest achieving undergraduate in their final year before graduating.

Happy Birthday James!

James Mulholland's birthday

On the 27th of August, 2013, Member James Mulholland celebrated his birthday in the dining room in the company of family members and friends. Seated from left is wife and Life Member Anne, their eldest daughter Penelope, birthday boy James, good friend Margaret Waterhouse and their second daughter Julianne. Margaret is also a Life Member of The Graduate Union and a very dear and long standing friend of the Mulholland family. Her husband John (now deceased) was also a Member who painted the abstract which now hangs on the wall at the entrance to the GU administration office. A surprise birthday cake complete with a candle, was presented during dessert time, much to the delight of the birthday boy!

Tony Law and Richard Dixon

Tony Law and Richard Dixon

Tony Law (right) is seen here introducing his friend, Richard Dixon, to Graduate House. (Thank you Tony). Prior to sitting down for lunch, Richard was given a tour of the facility and frequently expressed his delight at learning about our Carlton gem, and the various accommodation, meeting and membership services of our charity. A retired entrepreneur, Richard has subsequently been assisting The Graduate Union with the Twilight Lectures and GU Tastings and has offered kindly to take an ongoing and active role (Thank you Richard).

Finance and Planning

Finance and Planning-Seen at GH

The Finance and Planning Research Department from The University of Melbourne held their Christmas In July Luncheon. Their table was set up to reflect the traditional feel of Christmas festivities. They enjoyed a seafood platter with fresh salad as starters, turkey breast and ham off the bone for mains, and pavlova for dessert.

Lovely Ladies

Lovely Ladies

A senior sorority, a group of ancient but ebullient women, friends from school days in East Melbourne and ironically known as The Lovely Ladies, has found a haven for their reunions at Graduate House. The welcoming ambience, delightful staff and relaxed atmosphere give our gatherings a special warmth and enjoyment that we have never felt so keenly before in thirty or more years of our keeping in touch. Over the last three or four years, during which we have assembled at Graduate House every month, a sense of ease and belonging has consolidated our identity as a group. The spacious, comfortable surroundings, gracious hospitality, as well as an imaginative and varied menu have made our lunches memorable, precious and unmissable. We thank Graduate House for regenerating our sense of an alma mater.

90th Birthday Celebrations!

Betna Dryden

Member Betna Dryden celebrated her 90th birthday on 27th April, 2014, in the Stillwell Room. It was a joyous occasion for Betna and thirty-eight of her close friends and family members who came together for a grand lunch celebration at Graduate House. Betna joined the Association of Graduates (as The Graduate Union was then named) in 1975 and enjoys coming regularly to the Monthly Luncheons. The Graduate Union congratulates Betna on this amazing milestone and wishes her a very happy birthday.

Geoffrey White’s 80th Birthday Celebration

Geoff White and Rosie

On the 26th July, 2014, Geoffrey Keith White’s family organised an afternoon party in the Stillwell Room to celebrate his eighty years. Geoffrey is a Life Member of The Graduate Union who joined the Association in 1961. The room was decorated to suit the party atmosphere with a collage of photographs pinned on to a board.

Melba Group

Melba group

The Melba Group came for lunch on the 27th February 2011. With focus on bringing about social and cultural change for women, the members of this influential group of women will be working with our Graduate House Women’s Forum to generate discussion and workshops on the ‘how to’ of identifying and nominating women for major awards (e.g., for Australia Day Awards).

The Carlton Rotary Hat Day

Carlton Rotary Hat Day

The Rotary Club of Carlton was again a strong supporter of Hat Day at their weekly meeting on 7th October. Hat Day is held during National Mental Health Week, and is an initiative of Australian Rotary Health (ARH), a major supporter of mental health research and awareness in Australia. Many Rotary clubs around Australia hold a range of events to “hat up” and demonstrate their support for Hat Day, with all funds going to ARH. They include hat themed club meetings, trivia nights, dinners, flash mobs, parties and other special events. The Carlton Club encouraged all members to wear an outrageous/funny/stylish hat for which they pay a small fee, or double if they do not wear one. The speaker was Jo Robinson, a Research Fellow at Orygen Youth Health Research Centre, who spoke about ‘New Approaches to Suicide Prevention in Young People’. Also at the meeting were a number of researchers from the Parkville medical research precinct, who have been funded by ARH.

Kate and David Preston

Kate Preston with BF and HK

The Trustees of the William Berry Postgraduate Trust, Barbara Funder and Heather Kudeviita recently hosted lunch for David (left) and Kate Preston (on Barbara’s right) during their recent visit from Canada. Kate, the daughter of the founding Secretary-Warden William (Bill) Berry, and David have lived in various countries, including Poland, Bangladesh and Indonesia where David represented the Canadian High Commission. They were pleased to visit Graduate House again and to renew acquaintance with the CEO/Head of College.

Cecilia Liando

Cecelia Liando2

Hi! My name is Cecilia Liando and I’m currently a Master of Publishing and Communications student at The University of Melbourne. At the moment, I live in a residential college for graduate students, affiliated with The University of Melbourne, called Graduate House. Have you ever thought of living in a residential college during your studies? There are actually many benefits of staying in a residential college. Although I have been ‘warned’ by people in Indonesia during my pre-departure briefing that residential colleges are very costly, after weighing in everything, I found that the price is very reasonable, especially after looking at the services provided and time and energy saved. Depending on your needs, living in a residential college might be the best option for you… To read the complete blog post, please go to my blog:

Keith and Nancy Whitford

Keith and Alex

The Reverend Keith James Whitford (right) and his wife Nancy brought friends Marj and Alex Poore (left) to our dining room for lunch on the 20th September. Life member Keith joined the Association of Graduates in 1966. He and Alex attended Queen’s College from 1963 to 1967 for their studies in theology. Keith graduated with a Masters in Art, a Bachelor in Education and a Diploma in Administration and Alex with a Bachelor of Arts in Divinity.

Mr and Mrs Galli

Bruna Galli

We welcomed Dr Bruna Ann Marcella Galli and Mr Galli to the dining room in August. Dr Galli is a Life Member, having joined the Association of Graduates in 1970. The Gallis live close by, in Carlton, and mentioned the convenience of Graduate House as it is a short walk for a good meal.

Visitors from a Reciprocal Association

Dale and Kate Swenson

In January, we welcomed Dale Swenson and his daughter Kate who were visiting Melbourne from one of our affiliated associations, The University Club of Saint Paul, Minnesota in America. After having toured the facility, they made a promise to return with the rest of the family to reside for a time in the Stella Langford Wing apartments.

The Stillwell Family

Stillwell

We also welcomed Professor John Stillwell and wife Elaine, who came for lunch in January. A Mathematics Professor who spends half the year in Melbourne and half at The University of San Francisco, John is a great nephew of Frank Leslie Stillwell, after whom the Stillwell Room is named and a second cousin of Dr. Elisabeth Shaw who gives generously annually for the upkeep of the Stillwell Room.

The John Cain Foundation

John Cain Foundation

Having been in action for around 12 months, the John Cain Foundation is making some waves in the community. They are part of the School of Government at The University of Melbourne and have already seen a string of prominent speakers at their events, including their monthly lunches. “We’ve had speakers like John Thwaites and Michael Buxton,” said Faith FitzGerald, Foundation Secretary. Faith said that the John Cain monthly lunches are a highlight for their members. “The feedback is that people really appreciate them. They like the venue, they like the speakers that we’ve had and they’re stimulating,” she mused. “The John Cain Foundation, after the 34th Premier of Victoria, was founded to encourage ideas to be put in the public arena. Coupled with progressive thinking, and some new approaches, the Foundation works in the hope that it will influence the wider community and at the end of the day bring social justice. “We’re very interested in social democracy, redefining and bringing more morality back into how we govern the country,” said Faith.

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