Anna Lee is always ready for a new adventure. When she was just 23 years old, the Student Experience Officer left her home in Sweden to begin a new life halfway around the world.
Since then, she’s travelled around Australia, run half-marathons, earned her motorcycle licence, worked overseas, gained a Bachelor of Arts, and embarked on a second degree, all while raising three daughters.
“When I was growing up in Sweden, we’d go on school trips to England, France, Germany and Yugoslavia – so new experiences were a normal part of life,” Anna explains.
“I loved skiing trips, but some of the food was awful – especially the English puddings!”
With quite a talent in making Swedish delicacies, Anna knows a thing or two about sweets should taste! So much so that Miss Maud sponsored her move to Australia to work in the pastry house’s first Perth kitchen.
When her longing for adventure returned, Anna travelled around the country for six months, completed her first Bachelor of Arts and started a family.
In 2010, Anna began working at UWA as the faculty administrative officer for the Faculty of Education. Before long, she was putting her personal training qualification to use – running lunchtime fitness classes for staff, including the Dean!
She’s since become an entrenched member of the University community, even embarking on her second Bachelor of Arts, majoring in Japanese.
“It’s great studying on campus because I understand first-hand how it is to navigate the university system as a student,” she says.
“I'm also learning a lot of cross cultural communication skills, which is really helpful in my role when I’m liaising with students from different backgrounds.
“At the Design and Education Student Office I help our students with enrolments, special considerations and really any questions they may have.
“I’ve recently been helping another student office with their exchange enrolments and seeing all the places students can go was really inspiring. It would be great to be young again!”
Despite what she might say, Anna is living proof that age is no barrier when it comes to new experiences.
Several years ago, her brother dared her to run a half marathon. She’s now completed Göteborgsvarvet, the world’s largest annual running competition, four times and this year finally beat him (albeit by seven seconds).
She’s also still travelling the world. Combining professional development with travel, she recently took a year of leave to work at Gothenburg University in Sweden. From there she travelled to Canada, the United States, Venice and Barcelona – before getting married in Sweden’s Ice Hotel!
Now back at UWA, you’ll be able to find her helping a student with enrolment or (now that she has her 300cc motorcycle licence) arriving at work on her limited edition Vespa and no doubt planning her next adventure.