Jane Wilson has been the library manager at CQUniversity’s Melbourne campus for seven years, her time at CQUni follows a career in every sector of librarianship; from public to education to corporate, and even with the CSIRO. Jane says her very first job as a librarian, in the multicultural area of Springvale, has stood her in good stead to work with diverse students and staff at the Melbourne campus.
What is your first memory?
As a child of about 20 months, I was admitted to the Royal Children’s Hospital with pneumonia. My cot was completely covered with an oxygen tent. I grew up in a home with my parents, grandparents and a great-grandmother. I was used to lots of physical contact with my family. When my parents visited, a zip opened on both sides of the oxygen tent, they put their arms in, it was sensory deprivation big time.
What was a recent highlight of your life?
For the last two years, I’ve swum in the MS 24-hour Mega Swim. Teams of people swim in a relay for 24 hours. The emphasis is on fundraising for MS research and endurance, not speed. In 2015, I trained for the event, so was confident I could swim non-stop for an hour. In 2016, I was not able to train, however, I still managed to swim for an hour but was extremely tired afterwards!
What do you love most about your role?
I love the interaction with students. A smile in the lift goes a long way to making everyone’s day. On the metropolitan campuses, we get to know some students very well. Many are studious and highly motivated. It’s inspiring seeing them improve their academic results over the course of their degree. International students who combine study and work in a land where their mother tongue is not spoken in the academic setting are to be admired.
Who has made an impact upon your life? Why?
My parents were both politically active in the Peace Movement and social justice causes. My Dad was a trade union official and my Mum a secondary teacher. Their political views and human values have always informed my life.
What do you like to do when you’re not at work?
Culture junky best describes me. I love attending plays at Red Stitch Theatre, going to the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra, the Australian Ballet, the Wheeler Centre, NGV, making clothes and also cooking.
If you could change one thing in the world, what would it be?
I pray for world peace but do not think it will come in my lifetime. I’m not doing anything major to change the world, but I’m a monthly supporter of eight Victorian, Australian and International charities. Random acts of kindness are also important to me.
Who is the most famous person you’ve ever met?
My childhood heroine was Dawn Fraser. I started swimming training in 1966, two years after the Tokyo Olympics. Dawn Fraser was a bit of a larrikin, she had the guts to stand up to authority against unjust rules and she refused to kowtow to the Australian Swimming Union when she wore an older pair of togs during competition as they were more comfortable than the ones supplied by the sponsors.