Bronte Phillipps

Liberal Arts & Science can take you further than you think

Bronte Phillipps works for the Fred Hollows Foundation, using skills she honed from her Bachelor of Liberal Arts and Science degree. Learn how she used this flexible course to build a fulfilling career, and why she chose Sydney Uni to take that first step.

Bachelor of Liberal Arts and Science graduate Brone Phillipps

Tell us about your current role

My current role is Senior Partnerships Executive at The Fred Hollows Foundation. The Foundation is an international development organisation that works to restore sight to people who are needlessly blind or vision impaired.

My role involves working with businesses that support our work in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities here in Australia and in 25 countries around the world to allow equal access to eye health and improve healthcare systems.

I work to help meet our partners’ business objectives in corporate social responsibility and more strategic objectives like lobbying governments for change or developing Reconciliation Action Plans.

Why did you choose a Bachelor of Liberal Arts and Science?

I was drawn to a Bachelor of Liberal Arts and Science because of the variety and the ability to study in Science. I’m interested in lots of different disciplines and my degree allowed me to explore all of those.

I was able to study a language, Art History, Ethics as well as Biology and Chemistry. I knew I wanted to do a postgraduate related to Public Health and my bachelor degree enabled me to develop those initial skills and my ability to think critically.

Why did you choose the University of Sydney?

I was drawn to Sydney Uni because of the variety of the courses available, the reputation of the Uni and because I had heard from other alumni about their great experiences and the types of people I would meet there. I also knew I wanted to live on Campus and Sydney Uni allowed that.

What are the most valuable skills/knowledge you gained from your degree?

The most valuable skills I learnt were to listen and learn from others and their different opinions, meet people studying a variety of disciplines and think critically about problems or concepts that I was taught in lectures and tutorials.

Thinking about different ways of doing things and understanding that there isn’t always one perfect way of working was a great skill to learn. School felt like a time to learn the content of the subjects I studied, but University allowed me to broaden my knowledge and challenge what I was learning, which made my education more holistic.

What did you most enjoy about your time at Sydney Uni?

I really enjoyed being in an environment where everyone was learning, asking questions and improving their understanding. The people I met at Sydney Uni are friends I will have for life and has meant that I have an amazing, supportive network of friends with so many interesting and different skillsets.

What’s been your proudest career accomplishment or biggest career highlight?

The reason I studied my postgraduate in International Public Health was because I knew I wanted to work at The Fred Hollows Foundation – so to start off with, getting a job here was a huge highlight! But aside from that, I’ve been at The Foundation for almost 5 years now and in that time I have learnt a lot and helped to raise significant income for our important work.

Working with generous and kind people who are wanting to donate to such important work everyday is a great privilege. Learning from and speaking to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples on the healthcare challenges and disadvantages has also been a really important part of my career to date.  

What advice would you give to potential BLAS students?

BLAS students are lucky in that they have so many options of subjects available to them – but it can be overwhelming! I would say try anything you have a genuine interest in because the more you enjoy learning about that subject, the better you will do. Don’t be afraid to speak up during lectures or tutorials and meet as many people as you can.

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