Podcast Student Voice

Shanley Pillai and Zoe Spicer (Year 12) with inaugural Gain Wisdom Owl recipient Maree Skalistis (Listen here)


Maree Skalistis graduated from Glen Waverley Secondary College in 2014. Maree had a lightbulb moment in Year 9 and realised that her passion was to advocate for the vulnerable members of our community. This led Maree to become involved in many campaigns and activities to raise awareness and support those less fortunate, such as the Live Below the Line Campaign and purchasing sports equipment that was ethically produced. By Year 11 Maree was heavily involved in the United Nations Youth Parliament, earning a prestigious place to represent Australia overseas. Today Maree lives in Canberra, she is completing her Law degree and has simultaneously held down full time work in criminal prosecutions and legal aide. Recently she has begun working for the government in policy reform. Maree encapsulates what the 'Gain Wisdom Merit Program' aims to recognise and acknowledge. A diligent student in class and a passionate participant in extracurricular activities, within school and the wider community, that interested her.


Ali Ramezani (Year 10) with Oaktree CEO Shani Cain (Listen here)


Shani’s bio on the Oaktree website perhaps sums her up best:

Shani commenced in February 2019 and has formerly worked in international development, refugee settlement and the climate crises for organisations such as CMY, AYCC and the Red Cross. She has a double degree and a Masters of Humanitarian Assistance from Deakin University. Shani is dedicated to working in direct crisis response and sector innovation to help society’s most vulnerable people. She is passionate about female and youth empowerment, sustainability, and equality. In her own words, she is "someone who loves life and believes in the ability to change the world". Outside the four walls of Oaktree, Shani teaches yoga, walks her dogs Obi and Finn and attempts to camp and hike her way around Australia.. (www.oaktree.org/who_we_are)


Sweta Tharmaseelan (Yr 12) and Jess Stevens (Yr 11) with Channel 10 Sports Reporter Tim Morgan (Listen here)


Tim Morgan is Glen Waverley Secondary College alumni and a former Sports Captain. Tim completed a Bachelor of Communication (Journalism) at RMIT University before commencing his media career, working as a sports reporter in Cairns and Townsville before switching over to news and sport at Network Ten in Adelaide. He has since returned to Network Ten in Melbourne following a stint with the ABC in Northern Tasmania. Tim has worked as a boundary rider and as a producer and has had a front row seat to see some of Australia’s most prominent sporting leaders in action.


Anushka Jerry-Andrews (Yr 12) and Dillon Fernando (Yr 12) with anti-violence campaigner Phil Cleary

(Listen here)


Phil Cleary is a former Member of Federal Parliament, an author, an academic, a teacher and a VFA Football Player and Coach. Phil is a passionate Human Rights advocate and it was his advocacy work in the aftermath of his sister’s killing, that saw him play an instrumental role in overturning the law that allowed ‘provocation’ as a defence for murder. In this interview Phil talks about his journey as an advocate for women’s rights and leadership lessons he has learned from over 30 years of campaigning.





Amy Huang-Xiao (Yr 11) with State Labor Member for Mount Waverley Matt Fregon (Listen here)


Matt Fregon is our local member of state parliament and a life-long resident of the eastern suburbs. Matt’s background is in IT, beginning his career with a Bachelor of Business (Computing) at Deakin University. He then started his own IT Consultancy before moving into state politics. Matt is a passionate advocate for the mental health awareness, family violence prevention, education and connecting the community.


Ellie Crossett (Yr 9) and Mr Crossett with current AFL player Ryan Lester (Listen here)


Ryan Lester is a former Glen Waverley Secondary College student and Sports Captain. He was drafted to the Brisbane Lions at the end of Year 12 and has now spent 10 years as a Brisbane Lions player and played in excess of 100 AFL games. Ryan puts his longevity and success down to his passion for the game, his work ethic and his ability to overcome setbacks.