A lifelong connection to RMIT helped Heather Mallinson decide to leave a bequest to the University, ensuring her passion for education thrives into the future.
“If you’d asked the young girl who graduated back in '77 whether she would still be working at RMIT 40 years later, I would have roared with laughter. But I’ve been very fortunate to have had many different ways to grow and expand my knowledge in the process of staying at RMIT.
“My connection with RMIT began in '77 when I graduated from Emily McPherson College of Domestic Economy. At the time, Emily Mac, as it was affectionately known, was the best place for females to be educated for a career in nutrition, food and fashion; RMIT took over Emily Mac in '79. I later came back to RMIT to teach hospitality, tourism and leisure. I went overseas for a conference and ended up living and working in Japan for five years.
“When I came back to Australia, I started down the path of post-graduate studies at Melbourne University.
“I was tapped on the shoulder for one of RMIT’s first global industry partnerships – the Mandarin Oriental Hotel Project in Hong Kong. When I returned to Australia I worked in transnational education, and am now in industry engagement.”
Deciding to leave a bequest
“I’ve lost a few friends recently, some of who were younger than me and some of who were older than me – it was a bit of a reality check. And I thought, okay I have no children. I have two god-children who are 30 and 35, they’re quite established and making their own way in the world.
“At RMIT I’ve been tutor, a lecturer, a researcher, a mentor, a deliverer, a facilitator, a partnership manager, and then suddenly I’m getting towards the end of my work-life and thinking about what my next role is.
“I’ve always been very fortunate in having the support of other people, I don’t necessarily have to have a scholarship named after me, or a building named after me, but rather if we all make a small contribution it all adds up. I would like to pass something on, in the hope that it gives someone else a chance.”