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Andria Mastroianni is a social policy and research officer at the national peak body for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children and families.

Andria Mastroianni
Class of 2009

Life since leaving Ivanhoe Girls’ has been pretty phenomenal. It’s been an adventure full of diverse experiences of travel, study, work, love and friendship. After my whopping 14 years at Ivanhoe Girls’ I completed a Bachelor of Laws (Hons) and Arts at Monash University, which I loved. I was fortunate enough to spend three semesters of my degree in Paris and Florence and a few months volunteering in Bosnia before I came back home to get admitted as a lawyer.

I spent a couple of years working in business at Coles Head Office, in a variety of different roles including as the national buyer for drinks and ice-cream. Whilst my time in the corporate world was incredibly insightful, rewarding and challenging, I knew that my heart wasn’t in it. So I moved up to Darwin for six months to volunteer in the Aboriginal social justice space and spend some time as a lawyer in remote communities. This experience changed my life and opened my eyes to the injustices within our country.

Now I work as a social policy and research officer at the national peak body for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children and families, a job which I absolutely love. I get to travel across Australia and spend time in remote communities that I never thought I would visit, and advocate for change on serious issues. My soul is definitely much happier now. My daily yoga and meditation practice and weekly surfing trips to the coast also helps with this.

My 14 years at Ivanhoe Girls’ undoubtedly had a huge impact on my life. I was able to explore so many areas of interest – from French language classes and international exchanges to saxophone lessons, the soccer team and debating.

I really was made to feel that I was a powerful young woman that could be involved in anything that I wanted to, and I have taken this important learning with me throughout my life.

It is probably one of the main reasons why I am so confident in both my abilities and in trying new things. My teachers at Ivanhoe Girls’ were incredibly supportive, and I always felt like they genuinely cared about me. One of my favourite teachers was Mr Warren, my Year 12 International Studies teacher, who constantly put up with me asking so many questions and demanding so many answers! Thanks Mr Warren!

My advice for current students is to explore, to get involved in anything and everything Ivanhoe Girls’ offers that is charming to you, and don’t just do things because other people are doing it. Also, ask questions and really try to understand things that you care about. You are responsible for your own happiness, and if your soul is content then you will be a much happier and healthier person.

This article originally appeared in the July 2020 edition of Lux Mea Magazine.