Book a Tour Book a Tour Enrol Online Enrol Online Prospectus Prospectus

Mardi Cuthbert is the Head of Infrastructure and Facilities in the City Presentation Department of the City of Casey.

Mardi Cuthbert
Class of 2009

Ten years ago, I walked into my first lecture of a Bachelor of Civil Engineering. While I can say Ivanhoe Girls’ equipped me academically, nothing could have prepared me for the day I walked into my first lecture, as one of only six girls in a room of 120.

Despite the gender imbalance, I was able to draw upon my leadership and organisational skills to complete my degree, alongside a Diploma in Project Management. I quickly found that the objective of local government really resonated with me – to make the community a better place.

In my time at Swinburne, I completed an Industry Based Learning placement at Banyule City Council in the Traffic and Transport Engineering Department. I was given the opportunity to project manage the redesign of the old Noel Street School Crossing – something I had used almost daily in my time in Senior School, and have since worked on a significant number of strategies and projects across Banyule City Council and Yarra Ranges Council. I am now at the City of Casey where I am the Head of Infrastructure and Facilities in the City Presentation Department, managing the maintenance of all road, drainage, building, facility and fleet asset teams.

Last year I was recognised by the Institute of Public Works Engineering Australia (IPWEA) with the Emerging Public Works Leadership Award, and look forward to continuing to grow as a manager and leader in Local Government.

Anyone who remembers my twin sister Sarah and I from school will know that we loved to "do all the things" – music, debating, sport and House activities. It’s safe to say that attitude has continued into my adult life: outside of work I am a qualified fitness and triathlon coach and a meditation facilitator. I have found the perfect sport for this attitude – Triathlon! I initially started the sport as a "bucket list tick", but fell in love with the training lifestyle, positive culture and racing opportunities that are all part of the sport. Highlights to date include completing two Ironman 70.3 events (1.9km swim 90km ride 21.1km run) – a distance I never thought possible; and representing Australia at the ITU Age Group World Triathlon Championships in Switzerland in 2019. This year, I am excited to be part of the Triathlon Victoria Women in Triathlon Sub-Committee – creating a gender equity action plan to increase female representation and participation at all levels of the sport; and to again represent Australia in the Ironman 70.3 World Championships in Taupo, New Zealand.

When I reflect on the influence of Ivanhoe Girls’ on my life, one thing stands out: Resilience. It was woven throughout the academic and pastoral life of the School. The early experiences I had of Outdoor Education, of giving new activities a go (and sometimes missing out on opportunities) have taught me so much about myself, and helped me to challenge the limits I set for myself, and those around me. If I could give any advice to myself during my final years at Ivanhoe Girls’, I would say that every experience you are having – be it good or bad – is shaping you into the woman you will become.

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