Across the globe, our Medicine & Health alumni are making extraordinary things happen. Our alumni are bound by their connection to UNSW, but their journeys are all beautifully distinct. From health system reform and optometry to exercise physiology and improving the health of local communities, discover how our alumni are making their mark.

Aung Pyae Kyaw

MHM 2012

Executive Director at Asia Royal Hospital - Yangon, Myanmar

A bit about me...

Born and raised in Yangon, Myanmar. I’m a trained medical doctor and went to work in a hospital management setting after graduation. After a couple of years, I was browsing universities for further training in healthcare management and UNSW came to my attention for its strong reputation. As an Asian, Australia caught my eye for its rich cultural diversity. I took a break from the workplace to join the master program at UNSW. After my graduation in 2012, I went back to my country and now reside in Yangon.

I am currently working as an Executive Director at the Asia Royal Hospital (one of the pioneer private hospitals in Yangon). I am also working as a Central Executive Member as well as Treasurer of the Myanmar Private Hospital Association (it is an NGO which unites and helps private healthcare hospitals throughout Myanmar). My hobbies are networking, reading, swimming and of course, music.

Quick fire Q&A

1. Do you have a favourite quote or mantra?  

“The future depends on what you do today.” by Mahatma Gandhi

2. What are you reading/listening to?  

I am into history, as I believe we can learn a lot from it. I am into novels and music - 80s & 90s music as well as instrumental.

3. What advice would you give a student approaching the end of their degree?  

Before the end of a degree, please take time in choosing your career or profession as you will walk this path in life for a long time. As every profession has good as well as bad points; I would suggest considering these before starting a new role.

4. How do you remain resilient in your line of work?  

I always look up to successful individuals in my career - it drives motivation. Meditation and setting life goals, in terms of my career and education, helps strengthen my resilience.

5. What recent habit(s) has improved or changed your life?  

Watching motivational YouTube channels and joining a gym has improved my physical fitness and mental wellbeing. 

6. How did your time at UNSW help shape who you are today? 

Learning how to communicate and learn with a diverse group of individuals has shown me how my career is not limited to a degree only.

7. What was your most memorable experience from your time at UNSW? 

Gatherings after classes and Sydney beaches will always be a fond memory.

Ashik Asafali

PhD 2017

Senior Editor at The Biomedical & Life Sciences Collection, Henry Stewart Talks Ltd - London, UK

A bit about me...

I am a Physician with a master's in medical biotechnology and PhD in Vision Sciences. I am an accomplished biomedical research scientist and teacher with a strong background in Biophysics, Medical Statistics and Ophthalmology. I have a rich experience in leading and managing pre-clinical and clinical R&D projects aimed at evaluation of risk factors, identification of novel therapeutic strategies and understanding physiological and pathological changes. My work has received research grants from NIH USA, VisionCRC Sydney, CSIC Madrid, and DBT India. My research productivity has been excellent with 140+ publications, a book chapter on the mechanobiology of the human eye and 1100+ citations, and I have served as a Reviewer for reputed journals in ophthalmology.

In 2018, I was the recipient of the prestigious UNSW Young Alumni Award and my portrait (one among the 14 alumni worldwide) was featured in the UNSW Science Facing Equality project. I was elected Member of the National Academy of Medical Sciences (India) in recognition of significant contribution for the advancement of Medical Sciences. I am an active member of the Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology (ARVO) and appointed to serve ARVO’s Global Members Committee and Publications Committee. I have been selected as a mentor for the ARVO's Women's Leadership Development Program, Global Mentorship Program and Developing Country Eye Researcher Travel Fellowship program. Currently, I serve as the Senior Editor of The Biomedical & Life Sciences Collection, Henry Stewart Talks providing high quality online lectures ideal for teaching/research within both academia and pharma.

Quick fire Q&A

1. Do you have a favourite quote or mantra?  

The woods are lovely, dark and deep, but I have promises to keep, and miles to go before I sleep.

2. What are you reading/listening to?  

Reading the newspaper and science magazines; listening to Kollywood songs.

3. What advice would you give a student approaching the end of their degree?  

It is okay to take risks and face new challenges than walking the traditional path. Sometimes growth requires new company, new locations and new mindsets.

4. How do you remain resilient in your line of work?  

Forget the mistake; remember the lesson. It is the darkest nights that produce the brightest stars!

5. How did your time at UNSW help shape who you are today? 

Everything gives certain experiences and my time at UNSW provided me some unique ones. Apart from higher education and training in research, I was able to gain employable skills such as commercial acumen, conflict resolution, knowledge of current industry needs, leadership skills, problem solving, project management, resource management, time management and outstanding soft skills allowing for the development and maintenance of professional relationships with key opinion leaders.

6. What was your most memorable experience from your time at UNSW? 

Receiving the 2018 UNSW Alumni Award (Category: Young Alumni) at the Roundhouse.

Carina Trinh  

BSc 2012 BOptom 2012

Principal Optometrist and Owner of Carina Eye Care – Sydney, Australia

A bit about me...

Hello, my name is Carina Trinh and I’m proud to be an optometrist and one-woman-practice-owner of @carinaeyecare. Since my final year at UNSW in 2011, I’ve worked as a fully qualified optometrist for almost a decade through different settings. I absolutely loved my early years spent in Dubbo, surrounded by rural communities and Indigenous clinics where I was involved in complex disease management. This was followed by adventures working in Indigenous communities in the Top End of the Northern Territory, and volunteering in the breath taking Himalayas for the Nepalese Sherpa community.

One night, I noticed some flashes in my vision and realised that there may be something very serious going wrong with my eye. This first-hand experience of almost going blind at age 24 as a complication from being myopic (short-sighted) shocked my system and sent me back to Sydney on a mission to prevent this eye condition in others. Metro life initially took me by surprise with the fast pace and the sheer amount of myopia but allowed me to home in on my contact lens and myopia management skills.

These experiences have shaped my strong view of how I want to give back to my community through eye care. Thankfully, I’ve shaped my career in a way that enables me to put patients first without the usual retail pressure that many optometrists are faced with. The flexibility of owning my own practice also allows me to continually develop my skills and knowledge by working with other passionate and leading optometrists.

Quick fire Q&A

1. Do you have a favourite quote or mantra?  

“Do what feels right for you.” Past uni-Carina probably would have been very frustrated by this, but much personal development over the years has taught me to at least attempt to listen to myself and my intuition beneath all the external factors and emotions. 

2. What are you reading/listening to?  

I’m currently reading “How to talk so kids will listen, and listen so kids will talk” which is a book recommended by my friend to further develop my communication skills with vision therapy for children. Funnily enough, it’s been very helpful for navigating my own personal relationships too. 

3. What advice would you give a student approaching the end of their degree?  

Really think about where you want to go with your career, reach out to those who you admire, and don’t be afraid to ask for advice on how you can follow in their footsteps.  

4. How do you remain resilient in your line of work?  

If you haven’t already, develop an empowered mindset. I definitely did not have this during uni, but it’s been at the forefront of my mind since graduation. I’ve found that being humble in knowing that there is always more to learn and something to learn from every colleague and patient has been helpful. If every situation is embraced as a learning experience, there will always be benefit and growth. Also, keeping in mind that we always have some control over our feelings, actions, and direction in life will help prevent us from feeling helpless and stuck.  

5. What recent habit(s) has improved or changed your life?  

Going to morning exercise workouts. This is actually not new, as I’ve been doing morning exercise on and off since high school. However, I’ve only recently discovered how incredibly powerful it is for me to do something “productive” in the morning such as exercise or housework. It completely kick starts my day into a good day.  

6. How did your time at UNSW help shape who you are today? 

My time at UNSW was possibly the most difficult time I’ve ever had in my life. Paradoxically, it was also one of the most fun and exciting times of my life. Studying was nowhere near as clear cut as it was back in high school, but UNSW was a breeding ground for amazing friendships, and broadening my horizons in meeting students from all walks of life. My involvement in the Student Optometry Society allowed me to branch out to numerous societies across campus, Yellow Shirts allowed me to get to know people I would never have met otherwise, and my Optometry Preceptorship Placements allowed me to meet mentors who really instilled in me that “No one is better than anyone else, we’re all the same,” a valuable reminder that there is value and worth in every person. 

7. What was your most memorable experience from your time at UNSW?

Organising and enjoying the first Student Optometry Society Camp (possibly in decades), to strengthen the bonds and collegiality between students. This was my solution to relieving some of the unnecessary mental struggles that were experienced in my cohort. My goal was to prevent unnecessary depression and anxiety for the younger cohorts by developing strong social connection and support both within and across cohorts.

Chanchamnap Sok

MPH '2017 MIPH '2017

Program Coordinator at ACCESS Program (The Australia-Cambodia Cooperation for Equitable Sustainable Services) managed by Cowater International - Cambodia

Sour Sdey (Hello) from Cambodia, I am Chanchamnap Sok, a psychologist and public health professional focused on health system and policy reform. In 2015, I was awarded with an Australia Scholarship from the Australian Government and in 2018 I participated in the International Visitor Leadership Program managed by the US government to address the issue of access to health services for marginalised populations.

I have been working in the development sector since early 2000 tackling different aspects of health including, the HIV pandemic in Cambodia, malnutrition among children under five, maternal health and socio-economic and disability inclusion. I’ve contributed successfully to the decline of HIV in Cambodia in late 2000s and provided technical support to the Ministry of Health to develop a physical early detection tool for newborn and young children under five. This was endorsed by the Royal Government of Cambodia in 2019.

I am currently working to coordinate a bilateral program between the Australian Government and the Royal Government of Cambodia called “The Australia-Cambodia Cooperation for Equitable Sustainable Services – ACCESS Program” to improve physical rehabilitation services and strengthen the implementation of the National Disability Strategic Plan.

Quick fire Q&A

1. Do you have a favourite quote or mantra?

“What you are is what you have been. What you’ll be is what you do now” - Buddha

2. What are you reading/listening to?

I am reading two of my favourite books:

Factfulness: Ten reasons we're wrong about the world - and why things are better than you think by Anna Rosling Rönnlund, Hans Rosling, and Ola Rosling

Hit Refresh: A Memoir by Satya Nadella

3. What advice would you give a student approaching the end of their degree?

I would advise you to make most of your time enjoying the scenery of UNSW, in particular sitting in front of the main library in the evening.

Academically, I would advise keeping your friendships with pals from other countries, building a network of resources; and keeping connections with UNSW academic professionals.

4. How do you remain resilient in your line of work?

My strategy is to stay positive, optimistic, patient and be available.

Work-life balance is also my key strategy and on-going reflection.

Staying focused and prioritisingcontributes to my resilience at work.

5. What recent habit(s) has improved or changed your life?

Cycling and routine workouts improve my emotional and physical well-being.

6. How did your time at UNSW help shape who you are today?

My time at UNSW was a rewarding moment in life where I grew very independent in decision making, shaping my professional career focus and being accepting of differences.

7. What was your most memorable experience from your time at UNSW?

I love to look at the Sydney CBD from the top of UNSW library and walking downhill through the main entrance park during the evenings.

Chandni Joshi

MHM 2012 MPH 2012

COVID-19 Epidemiologist – Boston, USA

A bit about me...

I started my career in global health as a data enumerator for the Burden of Disease project in rural Nepal. One day, a local mother told me that she was inspired to send her daughters to school because she saw me working independently in the village and earning money. This memory has been motivating me to work hard ever since.

I have garnered educational degrees from top ranked universities of Australia, U.S., and Nepal and global health experience working across three different continents- learning about the people, the culture, the education, and the health system. I have received a number of grants and awards, including full tuition and stipend support from the Tufts University (for Doctorate degree), Provost’s Fellowship at the Tufts University, full tuition and stipend support from the Australian Government (for master's degree), and full tuition support from Tribhuvan University (for bachelor's degree).

My research experience focuses on maternal health and improving healthcare access and quality for vulnerable populations, including people with low health literacy, refugees, Indigenous people, and people with substance use disorder. My multinational research experience is supplemented by my own experiences as a woman of colour, a migrant, and a mother. I possess a variety of key skills, including data management and analysis, quantitative and qualitative research, statistical and spatial analysis, programme planning, implementation, monitoring and evaluation, and systematic literature review.

At present, I am a COVID-19 Epidemiologist at Brookline Public Health and Human Services and a final year candidate of Doctor of Public Health at Tufts University, majoring in Biostatistics and Epidemiology. I was recently granted  permanent residence status in Australia under the Global Talent visa. I plan to move to Australia sometime soon. 

Quick fire Q&A

1. Do you have a favourite quote or mantra?  

Struggle teaches us life lessons while success teaches us to be kind and compassionate. 

2. What are you reading/listening to?  

Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind by Yuval Noah Harari

3. What advice would you give a student approaching the end of their degree?  

Explore what skills the current job market needs and make sure you acquire those skills before you graduate. Learning is a life-long process, and it doesn’t stop when you graduate from university. 

4. How do you remain resilient in your line of work?  

I compartmentalise work and personal life. I am lucky to have a wonderful toddler who helps me avoid any thoughts (especially the bad ones) around my professional life when I am not working. I also share my experiences with my peers and ask about their experiences. 

5. What recent habit(s) has improved or changed your life?  

Taking time to identify my closest and most reliable network of family and friends with whom I can share my experiences and motivate each other. 

6. How did your time at UNSW help shape who you are today?

Studying at UNSW was my first life experience as an independent adult. I had been living with my parents in Nepal until my early 20s (as expected by my culture). At UNSW, I got the opportunity to make friends from many different countries and cultures and to learn from professors with a vast array of experience and novel teaching techniques. When I was hired as a Research and Evaluation Officer at the Center for Primary Health Care and Equity, UNSW, I realised that my MPH degree at UNSW had taught me all the necessary skills required at work. My study and work experience at UNSW have been helping me ever since.

7. What was your most memorable experience from your time at UNSW?

I was pleasantly surprised by the huge and well-maintained beautiful buildings, the enormous library with access to all the books and journals from all over the world, students who were from so many countries and from different races and ethnicities, and the food court that served cuisines from different parts of the world. Honestly, I was amazed by everything I saw, since this was my first time outside my homeland.

Daisy Shu

BSc 2012 BOptom 2012

Postdoctoral Research Fellow – Boston, USA

A bit about me...

I’m Daisy, a postdoc at Harvard Medical School studying the role of mitochondria and cellular metabolism in retinal eye diseases. I studied optometry and vision science at UNSW and since then, I’ve been obsessed with our eyes and the visual system.

After graduating, I worked as a clinical optometrist for two years before deciding to pursue a PhD in eye research. Many of the patients I saw in practice presented with cataracts, a clouding of the lens in our eyes and as such, I was eager to explore how cataracts form and their prevention.  This became the foundation of my PhD thesis which I completed in the Lens Research Laboratory at the University of Sydney under the supervision of Professor Frank Lovicu.

After finishing my PhD, I hopped on a plane and made my way over to Boston, Massachusetts to start my postdoc at Harvard Medical School in the Saint-Geniez Lab where I am currently. Here, I study the mechanisms underlying age-related macular degeneration, another leading cause of blindness worldwide.

In addition to my love for science, I also love science communication and sharing my research findings and science career journey on social media (@EyeDaisyShu on Instagram and Twitter) as well as through a podcast which I co-host called “Behind our Science” (@BehindOurScience on Instagram) where we highlight the stories behind scientists and their exciting scientific discoveries.

Quick fire Q&A

1. Do you have a favourite quote or mantra?  

“Where you stumble, there lies your treasure” - Joseph Campbell. Sometimes what you think is a hindrance, may actually be the best thing that ever happened to you.

2. What are you reading/listening to?  

I’m currently reading a novel called “The Language of Flowers” by Vanessa Diffenbaugh. I recently got into gardening and this novel has really made me appreciate flowers even more, particularly the hidden messages behind different flowers.

3. What advice would you give a student approaching the end of their degree?  

As much as the last few months of your degree can be quite stressful with deadlines left, right and centre, I would definitely have told my younger self to enjoy these final months a bit more. Take a moment to appreciate campus life, hang out with your uni friends on the library lawn, grab a coffee from the coffee cart and just chill for a bit.

4. How do you remain resilient in your line of work?  

I tell myself to keep on keeping on.

5. What recent habit(s) has improved or changed your life?  

Including a bit of physical exercise into my day most days of the week whether it be going for a jog along the Charles River esplanade or going for a swim at my local pool, it really helps clear my mind.

6. How did your time at UNSW help shape who you are today? 

My time at UNSW had a huge impact on shaping who I am today and my love for vision science. In the School of Optometry & Vision Science at UNSW, I gained a strong appreciation for the eye and visual system from the intricate anatomy of my ocular tissues to how they all work together to enable us to see. During my optometry degree, I was fortunate to be awarded a UNSW Summer Vacation Research Scholarship which I did under the mentorship of Dr. Michele Madigan where I got my first taste of lab work. I got to put on gloves, examine ocular cells under the microscope and run experiments for the first time and I became hooked on research, the discovery of new unknowns about the eye and contributing to the scientific literature.

7. What was your most memorable experience from your time at UNSW?

My most memorable experience at UNSW would have to be O-Week. I love the atmosphere, checking out all the stalls, participating in fun events, signing up to cool societies and of course, the freebies.

Hassan Qureshi

BExPhys 2015 MSc 2018

Exercise Physiologist / Business owner – Sydney, Australia

A bit about me...

I operate an exercise physiology clinic in Western Sydney. As part of my job, I get to work with a range of clients including people with physical and psychosocial disabilities, clients looking to return to work following a workplace injury or clients with various other health conditions such as cancer and knee replacements. The thing I love most about my role is the variety of clients and challenges I get to face.

Outside of work, I try to practice what I preach by staying healthy and exercising on a regular basis. I love reading and travelling (when it used to be legal, of course). Now I enjoy going on hikes with my family and spending time outdoors.

Quick fire Q&A

1. Do you have a favourite quote or mantra?  

“Begin with the end in mind”

2. What are you reading/listening to?  

The Art of War - Sun Tzu

3. What advice would you give a student approaching the end of their degree?  

Enjoy this time. Allow yourself to experiment, even procrastinate, but do so in a constructive way (e.g., make notes) because you never know what or who might end up helping you down the track. 

4. How do you remain resilient in your line of work?  

Not putting all your eggs in one basket and giving yourself options helps. But ultimately, having a sound intention and knowing why you’re doing what you’re doing helps guide you.

5. What recent habit(s) has improved or changed your life?  

Better organising my thoughts/to-do lists (recently started using Trello). Also, auditing the types and amount of content I consume on a daily basis (e.g., podcasts, videos)

6. How did your time at UNSW help shape who you are today? 

The greatest thing that I gained from attending UNSW, especially the second time round, is the appreciation of research.

7. What was your most memorable experience from your time at UNSW? 

There are many great experiences but perhaps the moments I miss the most are being surrounded by smart people and engaging in interesting discussions.

Isabelle Soh

MBBS 2011

Primary Care Physician, Chief of Primary Care Department, Clinical Assistant Professor and at-large Board Member at Cedars Sinai Medical Group - LA, USA

A bit about me...

I was born and raised in Sydney and knew from a very young age that I wanted to be a doctor. Remember in primary school we had to do paintings of what we wanted to be? I drew myself as a surgeon in green scrubs with a sexless body on a rudimentary table and a primitive light on the side. Oh, how times have changed! I was fast-tracked through school, skipping two years and finishing year 12/HSC at 16 years of age. I knew I wanted to go to UNSW as my dad was an alumnus having completed two degrees there, and I felt incredibly lucky to be accepted into my number one university choice.

At the end of my fifth in medical school, I did an ‘away ‘rotation in Hawaii for a month and decided soon after that I wanted to pursue further training and residency in the US. While working on completing my degree, I took the USMLE Step Exams and was accepted into a Family Medicine Residency program at University of California, Davis. Then at the tender age of 22, I graduated here and moved over to the US. 

Fast forward, and I have been working as a Primary Care Doctor at Cedars-Sinai, located in Beverly Hills, for the last seven years. Over these years I have taken on various leadership roles and am now one of the Chiefs and am on the Board of Directors. I love teaching Internal Medicine residents in outpatient clinic medicine, and especially love seeing Aussie who live in LA and are now my patients.

Quick fire Q&A

1. Do you have a favourite quote or mantra?

Your younger self would be so proud of how far you’ve come. Just because it’s not happening right now, does not mean it never will.

2. What are you reading/listening to?  

Growing Physician Leaders: Empowering Doctors to Improve Our Healthcare by Mark Hertling.

3. What advice would you give a student approaching the end of their degree?

The world is your oyster. There is no one set pathway, and you never know what opportunities will arise. Be open and make the best decisions for yourself every day!

4. How do you remain resilient in your line of work?

Self-care and balance. Be dedicated to work and your patients, but also set boundaries so you can have space to enjoy life and reset.

5. What recent habit(s) has improved or changed your life?

Mindfulness and Zumba!

6. How did your time at UNSW help shape who you are today?

The focus on clinical integration from the beginning really gave a different perspective and foundation which contrast with that of American grads.  Also, the collegiality and support amongst the cohort is unique and something to really value.

7. What was your most memorable experience from your time at UNSW?

Bonding with the other students, spending time having adventures around campus and at the Roundhouse are memories I treasure!

Dr John Trantalis  

BSc (Med) MB BS 1997 

Orthopaedic Surgeon – Sydney, Australia

A bit about me...

I am an orthopaedic surgeon specialising in shoulder and elbow surgery. I grew up in Randwick and trained as an undergraduate in Medicine at UNSW, graduating in 1997. I trained in orthopaedics in NSW and completed a further 12 months of sub-specialty training in Calgary, Alberta, Canada.

Professionally, I feel indebted to the educational system that provided me with the opportunities to be trained and to develop my skills. I am committed to trying to give back to that same system by remaining involved in both undergraduate and postgraduate teaching at all levels.

Another rewarding professional experience includes "Orthopaedic Outreach", which involved travelling to Honiara in The Solomon Islands, and allowed the opportunity to not only treat local patients with orthopaedic conditions, but to also provide teaching for the local surgeons to help establish a local orthopaedic service.

When I’m not working, in a pre-COVID world I occupied myself with travelling and spending time with my kids and friends, with our time focused on free-diving and triathlons. When I have time to myself, I very much enjoy taking part in car and motorcycle racetrack days…. the speed clears my mind.

Quick fire Q&A

1. Do you have a favourite quote or mantra?  

Henry David Thoreau: (modified) If a person does not keep pace with their companions, perhaps it is because they hear a different drummer. Let them step to the music which they hear. And a poem…. "Still I Rise" BY MAYA ANGELOU  

2. What are you reading/listening to?  

Renegades: Born in The USA …. Obama & Springsteen Podcast.  

3. What advice would you give a student approaching the end of their degree?  

Keep the science in your practice, and give back as much as you can to the system that taught you… get involved in teaching.  

4. How do you remain resilient in your line of work?  

Teaching outreach to less developed countries, exercise, friends, and speed (I race motorbikes and cars).  

5. What recent habit(s) has improved or changed your life?  

Doing triathlons with my children.

6. How did your time at UNSW help shape who you are today?

My time at UNSW gave me the solid foundation to develop the skills and decision-making abilities that I use daily in countless professional situations. My affiliations with UNSW have led to me to developing a sense of being part of a “bigger picture” and understanding the responsibilities that go along with that. In addition, I developed friendships through extra-curricular activities that remain strong and I remain in contact with many of my fellow students and colleagues to this day.

7. What was the most memorable experience from your time at UNSW?

My most memorable experience from my time at UNSW is remembering the feeling that I had when I was on the grounds of the campus and the place was buzzing with activity. I had a sensation that the campus was a hive of free thinking, learning, and research, and that positive memory lives with me to this day. A few years ago, before COVID, I recall walking the grounds of UNSW campus to give a lecture, and that feeling and memory of UNSW being a sanctuary of learning and freedom of thought and expression returned to me. It was such a strong sensation that I resolved to walk my children through the campus at some stage during their secondary schooling to make them aware of the opportunities that hard work and learning can provide for them.

Joshua Karras  

BSc 2017 MIPH '2018 MHM '2018 

United Nations Association of Australia (NSW) Executive Manager – Sydney, Australia

A bit about me...

I currently hold the position of Executive Manager with the United Nations Association of Australia NSW Division and am responsible for creatively conceiving, developing, planning, promoting and executing a wide breadth of events which align with the objectives and targets of the United Nations. Most notably, I design initiatives under the guidance of the UN’s 17 Sustainable Development Goals, including Goal 13: Climate Action, Goal 10: Reduced Inequalities and most notably, Goal 3: Good Health and Well-Being. My position requires me to educate, inform and inspire the New South Wales community about these various goals and objectives of the United Nations to make the world a safer and better world for all.

Having graduated from the UNSW with an Undergraduate Degree in Vision Science, I quickly came to develop a passion in communication and International Public Health, including the future of Public Health and global health indicators. For this reason, I completed three separate master's degrees (International Public Health, Health Management and Public Health Majoring in Infectious Disease Control), whilst conducting research at the School of Optometry & Vision Science and managing a Visual Education Centre for primary school children.

My primary focus is to drive cross sectoral partnership and collaboration to deliver real world results, which maintain relevance on a local, state, national and international scale. I abide by and promote the UN mantra "We the Peoples", which aims to empower the individual to utilise their unique voice and skill set in order to enact change within their community. 

Quick fire Q&A

1. Do you have a favourite quote or mantra?  

“Dust if you must”. It’s the title of a short poem by Rose Milligan. Stop what you’re doing and read it right now. 

2. What are you reading/listening to?  

Listening to Define Dancing from the Wall-E soundtrack. 

Reading Metro 2033 by Dmitry Glukhovsky 

3. What advice would you give a student approaching the end of their degree?  

Volunteer, volunteer, volunteer in the industry you want to work for. For me, the work experience and contacts that I made by doing this in my final year of studies ensured there was minimal culture shock and ample opportunity for me when I commenced full time work after seven years of uni. 

4. How do you remain resilient in your line of work?  

It can be overwhelming in my position when feeling pressure to try and tackle every societal problem at once. When things are going wrong or when I’m having one of ‘those’ days, I just try to do the very next right thing. Putting my phone on charge, drinking water, writing one email, taking that phone call. 

5. What recent habit(s) has improved or changed your life?  

I’m currently writing a book and I’m forcing myself to write at least 100 words a day. I find that this discipline is seeping into other parts of my life which has been unexpected and satisfying.  

6. What was your most memorable experience from your time at UNSW? 

Apart from meeting my soon to be wife, I would say performing a bunch of musicals with the Musical Theatre Society. Lots of great memories. 

Kirrily Gould

BExPhys 2013 MSc 2018

Senior clinician Exercise Physiologist at Fortem Australia, Exercise Physiologist at St John of God Hospital and Contractor Exercise Physiologist at Active Ability – Sydney, Australia

A bit about me...

I have always been a person who was interested in physical health and wellbeing. When I was younger, I wanted to be an elite athlete or somehow work with them. My first job was a gymnastics coach and I loved the science and psychology involved which led me to do my bachelor in exercise physiology after high school. Applying my undergrad knowledge to my coaching was amazing and useful but when I graduated I started working in a psychiatric hospital part time and decided to complete a Master of Research investigating exercise and Drug and other substances. During this time, I had three part time roles working as an exercise physiologist: Workplace prevention/ private clinic (In2Motion), St John of God Psychiatric Hospital and as a research assistant at the George Institute.

I developed my love and interest for mental health and worked very hard. Eventually I got to work at the hospital fulltime running exercise physiology interventions permanently and integrated into the usual care of clients. During this process I was able to help set up the exercise physiology programs at three St John of God Hospitals. I always wanted to stay in touch with my other clinical skills and have kept some private practice clients from Active ability.

I have been fortunate enough during my career to be involved in developing the consensus statement for mental health and exercise, presented for ESSA, UNSW and St John of God hospital at conferences, and help design the ASK mental health ESSA online program. Now I am working for an NGO Fortem.

Quick fire Q&A

1. Do you have a favourite quote or mantra?

Be strong and courageous, vulnerable and find comfort in being uncomfortable.

Fight for what you are passionate about. When you are passionate about your work it is easier to do.

2. What are you reading/listening to?

I am currently reading The Alchemist, Listening to The School of Greatness and have been recommended The 5am Club – Still need convincing on mornings

3. What advice would you give a student approaching the end of their degree?

I am a strong believer of always putting your best foot forward and connecting with supervisors, asking them about their journey of becoming an EP. Volunteer for projects and get your name out there as you don’t just want to be another number. Look into internships or experiences that you can do as a coach, allied health assistant or do as many hours as you can as a student. If you are passionate about a particular area, express this to your supervisor and gain as much knowledge as you can. It is always great to ask them questions.

4. How do you remain resilient in your line of work?

Working in mental health and rehabilitation for disability/ mental health can be quite tolling. However, I find working with a good team always helps where you are given the space to debrief and discuss difficult clients. Take breaks even if it is a good lunch break, two-week holiday or doing activities after work that help you unwind, have fun, and connect with people who support you. I love sports and activities as well as socialising. These things have always helped me remain resilient in my work.

Another thing is to realise that there is a difference between the clients presenting condition and you. I have a professional boundary between myself and my clients. I will always try to do my best for the client that is evidence based and refer on when I need to.

5. What recent habit(s) has improved or changed your life?  

Meal prep – I was eating too many convenient foods. Walking before work has helped with concentration and energy levels.

 6. How did your time at UNSW help shape who you are today? 

At UNSW I was always challenging myself to be a part of  social clubs, the exercise physiology society, doing extra hours as a clinical student and being diligent. Being at UNSW gave me the connections and friends to work hard but to also enjoy myself. I think travelling so far helped me  to get a job that is slightly further out of Sydney and not worry about the travel.  I love my jobs. UNSW also expects good quality students and that has been instilled into my clinical  evidence-based practice.

 7. What was your most memorable experience from your time at UNSW? 

Foundation day—when we were in the middle of a Statistics lecture, and we had three people ride down the middle of the stairs on snowboards then  he proposed to his girlfriend in the lecture. She said yes!

Kwan Leung

BExPhys 2013

CEO of Enable Exercise, Accredited Exercise Physiologist – Sydney, Australia

A bit about me...

I’ve always had a particular interest in sport and the functioning of the human body. Growing up, I participated heavily in sport, and in school I was drawn to the sciences. When the time came to pick my tertiary studies I married my passions with a degree in Exercise Physiology, during which I was fortunate enough to find my calling in neurological rehabilitation.

In 2017, shortly after graduating, I started my own business ‘Enable Exercise’. Five years on and I’m leading a team of specialised allied health professionals that are dedicated to helping people with neurological and physical disabilities improve their health and quality of life through exercise.

In this process I have seen, and been party to, hundreds of clients reaching their functional goals. I’ve developed an amazing team of like-minded healthcare professionals to help bring about our vision of being industry leaders in exercise physiology in the neurological space. I’ve also been involved in the UNSW neuromuscular rehabilitation course (HESC- 3592-) as a tutor to give back in some small way while conveying my passion to upcoming EP’s.

Being a business owner doesn’t leave an excess of downtime, but when I get it, I still enjoy playing basketball, performing traditional lion dancing, and spending time with friends and family. Pre-COVID I savoured the chance to travel, eat out and have a drink or three (vertically).

Quick fire Q&A

1. Do you have a favourite quote or mantra?

“If you love what you do and it's making you happy, all of the hard work and perseverance will pay off." Kobe Bryant

2. What are you reading/listening to?

Limitless by Jim Kwik. I’m listening to the audiobook and it’s all about upgrading your brain, learning anything faster and unlocking your exceptional life.

3. What advice would you give a student approaching the end of their degree?

Small changes and habits started now compound over time. Start building good health/wealth/self-improvement habits now and these will pay exponential dividends in your future.

4. How do you remain resilient in your line of work?

Self-serving motivations flop in hard times. I strive to develop a giving, growing and gratitude-based mindset, so when faced with adversity (which there has been ample of late) you will pull through, because you’re working for something greater than yourself. This has worked for me for years.

5. What recent habit(s) has improved or changed your life?

I have recently adopted the habit of consciously seeing things through to completion. Previously, my procrastination would lead me to take on multiple tasks simultaneously. I would feel busy, and half complete a lot, yet achieve little. This new habit has improved my life and work dramatically. By completing one task at a time, I stress less and see better results.

6. How did your time at UNSW help shape who you are today?

The person I am today is a culmination of my past experiences. My time at UNSW was not only formative, but instrumental in the direction I took in life.

During my studies I was surrounded by peers from all walks of life, fostering a respect for the value and contribution anyone can make.

I was exposed to professors and tutors who were experts in their field. They gave their expertise liberally and inspired me to reach similar heights in my profession.

And not to mention the lifelong friendships, relationships and networks that came along the way.

… oh and I also learned things there that I needed to pass my exams.

7. What was your most memorable experience from your time at UNSW?

One memory of my time at UNSW that remains vivid was the late-night session in the anatomy computer labs before exams. There’s something about the combination of exam stress, late night quiet, and being surrounded by cadavers that is conducive to staying focussed.

That experience aside, there were many memories from the social side of UNSW that I cherish. Like the times I spent having lunch with friends on the library lawn, exploring/getting lost in the old main building before class and the countless Uni parties I can vaguely remember but I know I had a good time at.

Lindsay Sales

MPH 1988

Director, Medical Compliance at e-Protego – Chiang Mai, Thailand

A bit about me...

Health related work has taken me to 45 countries providing field experience in developing, transition and mature economy settings rebuilding and improving health sectors in post disaster, humanitarian and national reform situations. I undertook strategy and organisation studies in the US which added considerable value to my Australian learning. It demonstrated that I had a very health-centric view of the world and challenged me with an array of different thinking that expanded my perception and approach to health issues. My passion is to be involved with reform and repair of health systems involving local communities, government agencies and private sector people so they can create their own contextual system of sustainable, resilient and accountable prevention, care and treatment.

In delivering these results I have been engaged by governments, the UN, the World Bank, the Asian Development Bank, DfID, the EU, not-for-profit and private sector organisations. My roles include Program Director, Chief of Party, Team Leader and Technical Specialist. Specific areas include health sector reforms, health service delivery with a focus on primary care, hospitals and HIV, disaster recovery, infrastructure, trade and development. A contributing foundation for my international development expertise was gained in posts including clinical roles, operational roles as CEO/COO of hospitals and policy roles including Deputy Director General of Health. My experience includes health finance and payment systems, start-ups, reengineering to increase operational effectiveness, major development projects, performance-based contracting, precision medicine, standards, regulation and accreditation. I am currently implementing a disruptive start-up involving the e-health ecosystem supporting universal access to performance based compliant primary care.

Quick fire Q&A

1. Do you have a favourite quote or mantra?  

The sophistication is in the simplicity.

2. What are you reading/listening to?  

‘Colin Hay, Waiting for my Real Life’ and his catalogue of great music from his Men at Work and solo periods.

3. What advice would you give a student approaching the end of their degree?  

Your colleagues and contacts are invaluable for downstream employment. The health scene/sector in Australia is important and beneficial to know. However, there is a richness of diversity that will be found when working in other nations, settings and circumstances. Be open to the difference, listen, never stop learning, consider taking sensible risks. Collective experience, discovery, knowledge and flexibility adds substantial contextual and creative value promoting your capacity to make a worthwhile contribution.

4. How do you remain resilient in your line of work?  

I am involved in a diverse range of activities that mostly relate to a broad interpretation of health. Examples include aerobic waste to energy systems, proposals for pharmacies to administer UK Corona Virus rapid tests in South-East Asia, developing an e-health ecosystem gold standard, development of executive health management training programmes for Gulf countries and volunteer health advisory support for a rural village in Thailand. This involves a variety of people from within and external to the health sector represented by a wide range of ages from a spectrum of communities. Being able to contribute and add value has been important for me to ensure relevance in my work.

5. What recent habit(s) has improved or changed your life?  

Becoming accustomed to residing in rural Thailand, versus periodically returning from international consultancies. 18/6 intermittent fasting.  Teaching students online versus face to face.  Avoiding toxic people wherever possible. Long motorbike rides through the rice paddies adds to life’s enjoyment.

6. How did your time at UNSW help shape who you are today? 

It increased my confidence being able to successfully compete with medical colleagues. Certainly, it proved useful with job applications. The scope of the course has proven invaluable – health planning, law, finance, economics, functional design, governance. Teamwork involving a range of health professionals.

7. What was your most memorable experience from your time at UNSW? 

The constant pressure to produce and submit course requirements. Studying with a newborn baby. Enjoyment from getting to know and work with fellow students and the academic staff.

Myung Seo (Ria) Ko

BMed 2013 MD 2013 MPH/MHL&M (currently enrolled)

Infectious Diseases Advance Trainee at Prince of Wales Hospital - Sydney, Australia

A bit about me...

I am a mum of one, a doctor-in-training in the discipline of infectious diseases, a medical project consultant for a clinical documentation consultancy company, and a postgraduate student at UNSW School of Population Health. I am 33 years old. I grew up in South Korea before moving to New Zealand in 2004, then I moved to Sydney in 2008 to start my medical degree at UNSW. I’ve been living and working across the states and territories of Australia since and I currently live in Sydney.

Post-graduate medical training is a long journey, often longer than the medical degree itself. I took what I call a ‘scenic detour’ from my training journey a few years ago to study health management and artificial intelligence and to work in health administration and economics. I took this experience back to my clinical workspace and have been working closely with the Health IT teams and the business intelligence unit on several projects for improving efficiency and quality of day-to-day clinical services.

Outside of work, I enjoy playing with my 2-year-old son Harry and my rescue dog Bodhi at the local parks, watching and taking photos of native birds, cooking exotic meals, and feeding them to my family and friends, and working on DIY home improvement projects.

Quick fire Q&A

1. Do you have a favourite quote or mantra?  

I have several:

  • The secret to happiness in life is to eat well, sleep well, and poop well – my mum (suggesting finding happiness can be as simple or complex as you want it to be)

  • Everything is going to be okay in the end. If it’s not okay, it’s not the end. – John Lennon

  • My family values (EAGLE): Excellence, Adaptability, Gratitude, Loyalty, Empathy

2. What are you reading/listening to?  

  • Emotional Female by Yumiko Kadota

  • Love stories by Trent Dalton

  • Phosphorescence by Julia Baird

  • Many children’s bedtime stories and nursery rhymes

3. What advice would you give a student approaching the end of their degree?  

Make your life your own, but before you can do that allow yourself to experience a variety of things. Do something different and enjoy it. Whether they are seemingly relevant or irrelevant to what you are doing now or where you plan to be in the foreseeable future, if you remember who you are and why you carry on while going through them, they will come back to you one day with great fortune.

4. How do you remain resilient in your line of work?  

I try and enjoy my day-to-day tasks as much as possible. Sometimes, I just have to tell myself that they are fun and worthwhile; and eventually I learn to have fun at work. If you are not having fun at work, what is the point of it?

Sometimes, there are times and places that make me want to cry. When they come, I pause everything, sit down, and cry as hard as I can. When I am done, I get up. If I need help, I don’t mind showing off my vulnerability and asking for help.

5. What recent habit(s) has improved or changed your life?  

I started waking up an hour earlier so that I have plenty of time to make myself a coffee and do some reading (whether it be a book I’ve been reading, something on social media, or emails) before I get ready and leave for work. I have full control over this time, and no one is distracting me, so taking this time makes sure that I have a great start to the day. It also allows me to plan my day ahead better and make the day more enjoyable.

I started putting all my schedule into one online calendar (my personal and family life, work, and study) and I found myself much more organised than before. I colour-code the different types of events and tasks.

6. How did your time at UNSW help shape who you are today? 

I have a lot to do with UNSW. At the end of this year, I will have completed four degrees from UNSW, which is about eight years’ worth of full-time studying. It shaped my professional persona. It opened so many doors for me to explore. I met numerous lifetime friends and my soulmate at UNSW.

7. What was your most memorable experience from your time at UNSW? 

Many wild nights in and out as the resident of Philip Baxter College (I ended up staying for three years and became a Valedictorian of the college).

My individual learning project research year at the Translational Neuroscience Facility with Prof Gary Housley and his team.

Following a patient’s journey through brain haemorrhage, brain death certification, and organ donation at the Intensive Care Unit at Prince of Wales hospital.

Natalie Klees

BMed 2013 MD '2013 MHM 2020

Medical Advisor, NSW Ministry of Health - Sydney, Australia

A bit about me...

I am a Fellow of the Royal Australasian College of Medical Administrators (FRACMA) and currently work as a Medical Advisor with the Office of the Chief Health Officer and COVID-19 Public Health Response Branch at the NSW Ministry of Health, as well as with the NSW Rural Doctors Network (RDN).

I studied medicine with UNSW at the Rural Clinical School in Coffs Harbour, where I developed a passion for rural health. I have worked and trained across a wide variety of locations in NSW, and while I currently call Sydney home, I look forward to returning to the country soon.

Quick fire Q&A

1. Do you have a favourite quote or mantra?  

Working within the COVID-19 response team for the last 18 months, the work of Charlie Mackesy has helped me to stay the course.

2. What are you reading/listening to?  

The Wheel of Time by Robert Jordan.

3. What advice would you give a student approaching the end of their degree?  

My number one piece of advice would be to enjoy yourself. If you aren’t already working a full/part-time job, then the period between finishing your degree and starting your career is one of the most wonderfully free times of your life. Enjoy it to the fullest!

When you start your new job, remember that you don’t have to know everything. One of the most important things is knowing your limits and asking for help. Take care of yourself, particularly as healthcare can be challenging physically, emotionally, and mentally.

4. How do you remain resilient in your line of work?  

I strongly recommend having good support networks both inside and outside of work. The key there is having both – sometimes you need to have an unmoderated vent (not necessarily appropriate for colleagues), and other times you need to bounce a situation off your peers to gain insight from people who understand the clinical / workplace context.

Secondly, having an interest outside of work that is not work-related (please note that studying or preparing for exams is not a hobby) is essential. It helps to have something positive to look forward to when you go home, and to find fulfilment in other areas of your life. Having an identity beyond medicine / work is so important – because when something goes wrong at work (and it will), you can draw upon these other aspects of your life as a support. They will help you realise that it was just an honest mistake / bad interaction, and not a reflection of who you are. 

5. What recent habit(s) has improved or changed your life?  

After gaining my Fellowship I have started teaching myself to sew. It has been wonderful to have a hobby outside of work, particularly one that allows me to channel my creative side.

6. How did your time at UNSW help shape who you are today? 

Training at the UNSW Rural Clinical School in Coffs Harbour was the catalyst for my current passion for rural health. I am incredibly grateful for the opportunity to live and train in such a beautiful regional area, which allowed me to develop long-standing ties to community and country.

7. What was your most memorable experience from your time at UNSW? 

As a medical student in a rural area, you often find you are given a much more “hands on” training experience than metropolitan facilities. My most memorable instance of this was assisting the (successful) resuscitation of a colleague who had a cardiac arrest. It was incredibly humbling to be part of a high-performance team who worked together seamlessly in an extraordinarily challenging situation.

Richard Okello

MPH 2012 MHM 2012

Country Implementing Manager for Catalyzing Pediatric TB Innovation - Uganda

A bit about me...

I am a medical doctor and specialist in public health and health management. I graduated from the UNSW in 2012. In the past nine and half years’ post-graduation, I have had an opportunity to work as a District Health Officer for Lira District Local Government, City Divisional Medical Officer for Kampala Capital City Authority, and as a program officer rising through the ranks to the level of Country Implementing Manager at Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric HIV Foundation Uganda.

Currently, I support a CaP TB Uganda team. My major role is to orient the National TB program towards Pediatric TB, build the capacity of health workers to manage pediatric TB along the clinical cascade, support the introduction of child-friendly Pediatric TB medicine, generate evidence to improve Pediatric TB, and sustain the best practices beyond CaP TB Project. The intention is to enable my country to increase the proportion of children diagnosed and treated for TB compared to all TB cases identified and treated from 12% to 15-20%.

As of the end of 2021, my current project has realised several achievements. The national strategic plan has pediatric TB sections for the first time. A guideline for TB prevention has included shorter regimens for preventing TB in children; 600 health workers from 40 District TB diagnostic units contribute 48% of the regional TB target (194 DTU contributes the remaining 42%).

Quick fire Q&A

1. Do you have a favourite quote or mantra?  

Maa ticii (translated from Luo to English- “Love your work”)

2. What are you reading/listening to?  

I love listening to Classical music - the harmony always amazes me. I also profoundly love Gospel music since it lifts my soul.

3. What advice would you give a student approaching the end of their degree?  

Vast opportunity awaits you to put to use what you have learned at  UNSW. If you do, you will definitely stand out. 

4. How do you remain resilient in your line of work?  

Prioritise tasks, learn new skills from team members and keep a reflective journal.

5. What recent habit(s) has improved or changed your life?  

Listen more and talk less. You don’t have to be recognised for every accomplishment within an organisation. 

6. How did your time at UNSW help shape who you are today? 

Continuously learn to enable your hands to move fast in addressing emerging challenges and tasks.

7. What was your most memorable experience from your time at UNSW? 

The UNSW Roundhouse, I used to go weekly and play chess with fellow students.

Samantha Law

BMed 2015 MD 2015 BA 2015

Advisor, Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit - Kyrgyzstan

A bit about me...

You’ll currently find me hiking in the mountains of Kyrgyzstan most weekends, a short journey from the capital city of Bishkek where I live and work as an advisor for the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) in a health system strengthening project. It’s a far cry from my college room at UNSW in Sydney and even further from the rural NSW town in which I grew up.

I studied medicine at UNSW, including three years in Wagga Wagga at the rural clinical school, before working at RPA Hospital, Sydney during my internship and residency and then as a locum in remote NSW and QLD. During these years I had developed an interest in the social determinants of health and the economic and policy decisions that impact health downstream. I followed this interest to complete an MSc in Health Policy, Planning and Financing at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (LSHTM) and London School of Economics (LSE).

Experiencing health in such a variety of settings, from affluent Sydney suburbs to rural Mongolia, remote indigenous Australian communities, German villages, far-flung Indonesian islands, and my very own village where my parents still live has driven home the inequity that exists at every level. My work life now is motivated by policy change for equity and I’m so lucky to have the opportunity to do this every day.

Quick fire Q&A

1. Do you have a favourite quote or mantra?  

“Nothing lasts, nothing is finished and nothing is perfect” from the Wabi-Sabi philosophy. Though I do also carry around a tiny piece of paper on which is written “life is better in questions than in answers” a summary of me in the eyes of a friend.  

2. What are you reading/listening to?  

Currently reading “Power of Geography” by Tim Marshall and “Reading Lolita in Tehran” by Azar Nafisi

3. What advice would you give a student approaching the end of their degree?  

Life isn’t linear, so don’t worry too much about the direction you’re taking. Follow something you’re curious about and never be afraid of quitting something - it might just be the most courageous, important thing you will ever do.

4. How do you remain resilient in your line of work?  

Knowing when not to be resilient anymore - when something at work needs to change or when I need to take a break to protect my mental health. And acting on this. 

5. What recent habit(s) has improved or changed your life?  

Leaving my phone outside my bedroom at night! What a relief. 

6. How did your time at UNSW help shape who you are today? 

Meeting so many different, interesting people with their wealth of experiences and world views to share, both students and staff.

7. What was your most memorable experience from your time at UNSW? 

When I think of UNSW I think of the student room at the Wagga Wagga RCS - where we would gather for a cup of tea to debrief tough experiences on the wards or share new learnings from the day. We would have study groups and prepare for exams, we would simply gossip about the weekend or plan social events. The support, solidarity, and camaraderie that this room represented will always stay with me.

Trisya Rakmawati

MHM(Extn) 2017

Officer, Health Division at ASEAN Secretariat - Indonesia

A bit about me...

My background is in pharmacy. I graduated as a registered pharmacist in Indonesia and decided to pursue a higher degree in Health Management to expand my career in the health sector. I was blessed when I received the Australia Award Scholarship to pursue a UNSW master’s degree. My interest in the health system strengthened while studying for my post graduate degree in Australia.

After completing my university studies, I returned to Indonesia where I worked with a local foundation specialising in maternal and child health through a community engagement approach. Moving forward, I worked in another health system strengthening project, focusing on the supply chain to support the uninterrupted availability of HIV/AIDS and TB medicine. During this time, I have contributed to the development of the HIV/AIDS logistic management guideline at the provincial level, which was endorsed by the local government.

Currently, I am working at the ASEAN Secretariat, an intergovernmental organisation for the southeast Asia region. My work focuses on strengthening the health system , which involves supporting and facilitating regional activities.

Quick fire Q&A

1. Do you have a favourite quote or mantra?

“Wherever you are, and whatever you do, be in love.” - Rumi

2. What are you reading/listening to?

I am currently reading a novel by Mikhail Shishkin, The Light and the Dark.

3. What advice would you give a student approaching the end of their degree?

Savor every second of it, the atmosphere, and the people around you. Stay connected with yourself, and your surroundings to identify career opportunities, and how you want to build your portfolio. Learning is a lifetime process, so never stand still.

4. How do you remain resilient in your line of work?

By knowing who I really am and holding on to my values and principles. This self-recognition helps me see my strengths. I’m not afraid to admit my flaws, and see opportunities to improve.

I also set boundaries between my work and personal life – this takes courage and consistency.

5. What recent habit(s) has improved or changed your life?

The pandemic has forced me to slow down and see everything through different lenses. To see how fragile life is, and how I have taken many precious moments for granted. It taught me how to be present; be in the moment.

At some points, the pandemic has guided me to reconnect with my old hobby of reading. It changed me by giving me the sense of finding part of myself again.

6. How did your time at UNSW help shape who you are today?

Studying at UNSW has been a great opportunity for me to experience a taste of being a global citizen. Surrounded by students and experts from different professional backgrounds, cultures, and countries of origin has enriched and shaped me to gain a systemic perspective.

7. What was your most memorable experience from your time at UNSW?

Being in a very diverse environment. As UNSW is a melting pot, there were many cultural events, such as dancing, music performances, and food markets. Each of these events brought a taste of different cultures from different countries. My time at UNSW was never a boring.