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High school students join the Faculty of Business and Law to celebrate Edith Cowan’s 150th anniversary

Thursday, 11 August 2011


Tuesday 2 August 2011 marked the 150th anniversary of the University’s namesake Edith Cowan, and to celebrate, the Faculty of Business and Law invited 100 local year 9 and 10 high school students and their teachers to an exclusive presentation: ‘Inspiring Dreams; Reaching your Potential’.

Edith Dircksey Cowan was born on 2 August 1861, and was a tireless campaigner for social causes and women’s rights. She was the first woman elected to an Australian Parliament, where she championed the rights of women and pushed through legislation that allowed them to become a part of the legal profession.

Sixteen high schools attended the anniversary celebration, to be inspired by the achievements of Edith Cowan and three other extraordinary West Australian women: guest speakers Priya Cooper OAM, Nella Watson-Lowe and Michelle Slater, who told how they made their own dreams come true. The schools included:

  • Belridge Senior High School;
  • Carine Senior High School;
  • Churchlands Senior High School;
  • Greenwood Senior High School;
  • John Forrest Senior High School;
  • Kingsway Christian College;
  • Mater Dei College;
  • Mirrabooka Senior High School;
  • Morley Senior High School;
  • Mount Lawley Senior High School;
  • Prendiville Catholic College;
  • Sacred Heart College;
  • St Mark’s Anglican Community School;
  • Swan Christian College;
  • Wanneroo Senior High School; and
  • Yanchep District High School.

Guest speaker Priya Cooper OAM, a Paralympic world champion swimmer born with cerebral palsy, talked about the importance of following dreams and shared her motivations and strategies. She attributed her success to her determination, whether it be in completing her Bachelor degree, swimming for a gold medal at the Paralympics, or realising a 20 year dream to work in television.

Nella Watson-Lowe, currently a Bachelor of Laws/Bachelor of Arts student at ECU, also spoke, sharing her journey with ECU’s Faculty of Business and Law and the many opportunities provided to her during her studies that have shaped her success.

Lastly, Michelle Slater, an MBA graduate from ECU now working for Chevron, shared her stories with the students. Michelle encouraged the students to get to know themselves, in order to really connect with their goals in life. She also pointed out that if it weren’t for people like Edith Cowan standing up for their beliefs, society as we know it today would not be the same.

The students then enjoyed refreshments, and even had the opportunity to tour Edith Cowan’s house where she lived in West Perth from 1919, now on site at ECU Joondalup.

More information

For more information about this event and others co-ordinated by the Faculty of Business and Law, such as the ECU Business Experience, contact the Faculty of Business and Law Marketing Team.



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