Rhonda DANIELS (Old Girl 1986)
I attended SCEGGS for Years 7 to 12 (1981-1986) on a full scholarship. Coming from a family situation traditionally considered disadvantaged (with a single mother on a very low income), I certainly would not have attended SCEGGS without a full scholarship. But I had strong support for education from my parents. My background didn’t matter at SCEGGS.I thrived in the supportive academic environment which encouraged excellence. I enjoyed speech lessons, debating and library volunteering much more than sport. In Year 11, I entered the Young Achievement business experience program, and was awarded national Young Achiever of the year, winning a trip to America.
In Year 12, I particularly enjoyed 3 Unit Latin and Geography. With an eye to job opportunities, I completed a Bachelor of Science in economic geography (with the University Medal) at UNSW, then a PhD in transport management at the University of Sydney. I also have a Masters in Policy Studies and have completed TAFE studies in bush regeneration and Aboriginal studies. I like education!
I have worked at universities as a transport researcher and in the public sector in transport planning and policy, with an interest in environmental issues, and urban planning. Transport has an important role in reducing social exclusion through access to opportunities including education. I regularly give guest lectures to share my practical experience with student. Outside of work, I’m active in the Australian Plants Society.
My supportive, encouraging SCEGGS education provided a sound basis for my life choices. I often think of my teachers who shared their passion for their subject and enthusiasm for learning.
The more life experience I have confirms for me the importance of education in providing and expanding opportunities. There are many different ways to support access to education. As well as the SCEGGS Scholarship Fund, I also support the Smith Family’s Learning for Life program to support disadvantaged students in education.
I encourage you to support the Scholarship Fund to provide opportunities for a high quality SCEGGS education for girls who wouldn’t otherwise have access.