Community is the soul of ANU

Roxanne Missingham (BSc ‘76)
28 June 2022

I grew up in Melbourne and got early entry to the Australian National University way back in the 1970s or, as my children like to refer to it, back when dinosaurs roamed the earth.

At ANU, I did a science degree and was one of the original inhabitants of Toad Hall. Toad Hall was a great experience because it was such a multicultural and diverse place to live. There were people from Vietnam, regional Australia, and all over Europe. It was a community that meant we continued to talk and connect long after we had physically been together at the University.

Once I finished my degree, I looked around and there weren't a lot of jobs for women in science. So, I did a library science postgraduate qualification at what is now the University of Canberra and went on to complete a graduate program at the National Library of Australia. From there, I've worked in lots of different libraries, including the Parliamentary Library and Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) library. I had always had quite a lot to do with colleagues who were studying at ANU or were lecturing here, and so when my career led me back to ANU it was like coming back to a big, positive community.

I've been working here now, as the University's Chief Librarian, for more than 10 years. It's been fantastic to see life spring back on campus, as Covid restrictions have eased. My heart sings when I connect and engage with the students, our alumni, and my ANU colleagues, because community is the soul of the University.

ANU has such an amazing, diverse community which really reminds me of the difference that a world-class university can make. It creates a global network of scholars who are incredibly active in their communities, thinking about the big issues, talking to colleagues, and often, taking this knowledge to share back home - wherever that may be. I really feel that ANU is just extraordinary in the way that it connects to the world and brings people together through passion.

It's this passion, along with the connections between staff and students, that really makes ANU an extraordinary university experience.

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