Cappuccino crawls and critical analysis

Bronwyn Notzon-Glenn (BA '99, LLB '02)
16 Dec 2022

When I went to university in the 1990s, there was the UAC book - a printed handbook you had to go through to look at the universities and the courses they offered. When I read it, I paid attention to the way the various universities focused on academics, people and connection, and decided I particularly liked ANU. I was very excited when I got my HSC results in the post, as you did back then, and had been offered a place at ANU.

I came to Canberra with my mother and about six suitcases. I remember thinking how big the campus was, and how I first breathed deeply and smelled the beautiful, native flora. It was crisp and clean. And that began my ANU journey.
I met many of my friends at Ursula College - initially as an undergraduate, and then later, when I came back as the Dean of Residents during my postgraduate study. It was a wonderful community, with a very large international student population with different stories and experiences all coming together. We would often share meals because it was a fully catered college, and our conversations made us mini-experts in each other's fields of study.
Coffee was just as good as dinner for strengthening connections. As Dean of Residents at Ursula College, I started something called the 'Cappuccino crawl' - the parallel to the 'Bar crawl' during 'O-week'. This event brought lots of people together, and eventually, some people from the bar crawl would join in on the Cappuccino crawl too.
Over my years at ANU, I saw how the University has its own ecosystem. You can really feel the seasons change - like how when the trees begin to show fluff and everyone starts sneezing, you know it is nearly time for exams. Aside from the lovely smell of nature, I also remember the distinct smells of the different libraries and their different characteristics. I remember the law library most - and how there was a bust you would rub the nose for good luck as you walked past. During the season of fluff and exam time, everybody would obsessively do it, so much so that the nose was really bright and the rest of the head was really dirty.
ANU was excellent preparation for my career. I have an honours degree in arts and an honours degree in law from ANU, and my studies ranged across a number of disciplines including law, political science, English and history. All these courses really taught me the power of words - how to take disparate arguments, to critically analyse them for myself, and to be able to articulate a coherent argument in return.
Since I graduated in 2001, I have worked across a range of areas as a lawyer and senior public servant in the Australian Public and Parliamentary Services. I started my legal career at the Attorney-General's Department, have held the roles of Usher of the Black Rod in the Senate and Serjeant-at-Arms in the House of Representatives in the Australian Parliament, and I am currently the Deputy Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security in the Office of the Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security. I have many professional connections with whom I share that ANU link and experience. The admiration I feel when I read about ANU graduates always reminds me of the value of those connections.
I still often visit ANU, and always love coming back, even just for a coffee and to go to the book store!
To ANU students now: enjoy all the activities, the connections, the academic growth that ANU offers. Study and follow what you're really interested in. Wherever your career takes you, this foundation and your friendships and connections will stay with you throughout your life.


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