Anne Crawford

1. When were you in the ESW?
I was in Arts Social Work (as it was known then) from 1982–1986.

2. What degree/s did you complete?
I completed Bachelors degrees in both Arts and Social Work.

3. Was there something in particular that attracted you to these courses of study?
I had a naïve idea that I could work with migrant women who felt disconnected and alienated from mainstream Australian culture. I majored in Italian as part of my Arts degree for that reason.

4. In what ways have you used your degrees since completion?
I used my Social Work degree so much in the first half of my career. I started out as a hospital Social Worker, moved into Community Mental Health (working a lot with people with mental illness and also women in situations of domestic violence). I finally fulfilled my real vocational passion when I worked as a Sexual Assault Counsellor at Royal Prince Alfred Sexual Assault Unit.

5. What’s your current role?
I am founder and director of Can Too. Can Too is a health and fitness program where we train people to achieve goals they never imagined they could achieve such as run a marathon, half marathon, 10km or do an ocean swim. In return for being part of the coached team our people raise funds for Cure Cancer Australia and young innovative researchers in the early stages of their career.

6. How did your studies in the faculty inform your current position?
My Bachelor of Social Work has really made me the person I am today. It has really affected the way I see the world and therefore the things that give me a sense of meaning. I always think back to our discussions about equality of outcome versus equality of opportunity. My strong principles on issues of equality are a result of my studying social work. I want to live in a world that is just and fair, which is why I feel the need to give back to society. I have a really strong appreciation of the privileged life I live and the need to make it fairer for others.

7. Do you have fond memories of your time on campus at ESW?
I have fond memories of the friends I made and the crazy times when we did the Social Work Review. They were so much fun even though they were pretty bad. I also have mixed feelings as well because I wasn’t always a content person in those days. I had my good and bad days.

8. Were you involved in extra-curricular activities either within or outside the faculty?
I wasn’t involved enough at Uni and that is one of my regrets. I was not confident enough in those days to get involved.

9. How significant is it to you to be part of the faculty’s Alumni & Friends group?
It is nice to be reconnected. Funnily enough my three kids are at the University of Sydney so that is bringing back a lot of memories. I was in the Quad the other day and remembered where I virtually failed one of my Italian literature classes.

10. And finally, any words of wisdom you’d like to pass on to the ESW Alumni & Friends?
Make the most of your Uni days. Work hard and read everything you can. I did the minimum work when I was there and I still regret that. You get out of life what you put in, and so you will get out of your Uni days what you put into them. Have fun and make the most of it!

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