Christine, now a pandemic business recovery specialist, was mentored by Eve Barboza in the early stages of her career but the pair lost touch in the mid-90s.
“I was astonished when I saw Eve’s face on the screen during WOBChat,” said Christine. “I just said ‘Oh my goodness’ and we started chatting directly and swapped emails.”
“WOB brought us back together again. Even in our modern connected world, it is too easy to lose touch with mentors and friends, who you really value as part of our lives.”
Eve didn’t recognise Christine’s name first, as her surname had changed from when she knew her. “There was a sea of faces on the WOBChat, so it wasn’t until she messaged me that I realised it was Christine,” she said.
“I’m delighted that she got in touch and it is great to see she is thriving and doing so well. I am looking forward to meeting up and seeing what else she has been up to.”
Christine said Eve and her former research partner, UNSW Senior Lecturer, Frances Lovejoy - who was honoured posthumously in 2008 with AM for her service to education, particularly in the fields of sociology and women's studies as an educator, author and mentor - were both vital in her early career.
Christine recalled as a “nervous Masters student” attending an women-only event organised by Frances and Eve before an annual sociologists conference. Their advice was to accept every invitation to present “even if it is from the Mongolian toe pullers! Go! Present! Build up your CVs and professional reputation!”
Since then, Christine has done over 100 conference presentations, and she credits Eve and Frances with inspiring her along the way. “I would have hesitated to say yes to these early opportunities without Eve and Frances pushing me to do so,” she said. “I have needed a good push from caring colleagues and mentors, at critical points in my career.”
And now it’s Christine passing on these wise words. “I still rely and share their advice, from time to time, with others needing encouragement.”
Eve and Christine now have each other’s email and mobile numbers, have connected through LinkedIn, and are planning to catch up in Sydney in a few months’ time.