For 14 years, Julie Millias worked as a Dental Therapist, visiting schools across Perth, the Wheatbelt and Great Southern. When she decided it was time for a career change, she turned to studying microcomputers – a change that led her to a new career with UWA. Now Julie has set herself another goal – to complete postgraduate studies in Leadership.
Julie grew up in Perth and when she completed her dental studies, her role with the Western Australian Schools Dental Service saw her working in fixed and mobile dental clinics.
“The mobile clinics were kitted out caravans. At the height of summer the country kids liked visiting the dentist as it meant they could escape the heat as the vans were air-conditioned, unlike their classrooms.
“After 14 years I was starting to burn out and decided it was time to re-educate myself. I looked around for something I found interesting and wanted to know more about - that thing was information technology,” Julie said.
Shortly after completing a course in microcomputers, Julie started a new role at UWA in Timetabling. This led onto a role managing the askUWA pilot, and now as Solutions Lead, Students and Community, with University IT.
“I started at UWA in 2000 when the timetabling system was in its pilot phase and the undergraduate timetable wasn't fully centralised.
“It took a lot of negotiation to convince all the faculties to have their classes booked centrally via software they'd never heard of - however we got their buy-in and it’s still in use today,” Julie said.
From coordinating venue needs across the University, to helping website users find answers via askUWA, Julie is pretty adept to taking on new challenges. She has also run her own business selling music memorabilia, CDs and DVDs.
Having considered postgraduate study for some time Julie decided the time was right for her to take the leap and become a student again. This year she commenced the Graduate Certificate in Leadership at UWA and advises staff members who are looking into studying a full-fee course at UWA to look into whether they’re eligible for a 25% discount.
“I’m thoroughly enjoying my course and while it’s definitely challenging, it’s wonderful to be able to study online, as well as face-to-face.
“Studying ‘virtually’ really encourages you to develop different skills and I know it’s helping me prepare for working in a digital environment.
“I’m into my second unit of the Graduate Certificate in Leadership and already I’m applying what I’m learning to my role, especially regarding taking care of my team members.
“I’ve also found there has been so much support - from lecturers, student support and our library resources,” she says.
When asked what advice Julie might give to someone currently considering taking up postgraduate study her advice is to ‘think big’.
“Gloria Steinem once said ‘Dreaming, after all, is a form of planning.’ “
“So I say, dare to dream big!” Julie says.
It’s pretty clear Julie is one highly-organised individual who is really passionate about pursuing her interests.
“I love it when people ask me what I did at work today because it could be anything from building an app for a battle station simulation, to programming a chat bot, to helping my team members to achieve their goals,’ she says.
Her love of music still rocks on. You might see Julie out on the weekends supporting her partner’s band. Or for something slightly quieter, taking Missy Moo (pictured), her adorable Labradoodle out for a walk.