Architecture student Harriette Beedle chose Trinity College off the back of a virtual tour, and now says the community and support offered at Trinity has helped her find a home away from home.
Growing up, Harriette Beedle would spend weekends taking apart toy trains to see what they looked like inside and how all the pieces fit together. As the go-to Ikea flat-pack builder of the family, she was forever curious about how things were designed and constructed.
‘I think I’ve always had an interest in engineering and building, using my hands to build things and just doing practical things.’
In 2010, her family moved to Japan for a year. There, Harriette became interested in art and discovered a passion for drawing.
‘Tokyo was the first place where I got to do art as a subject,’ she says. ’We’d do charcoal and still-life drawings. And I loved it.’
Back in Australia and studying at Frensham, Harriette soaked up all the academic and creative opportunities the school offered and enjoyed some new experiences along the way.
‘I loved being out of the city and trying things that I wouldn’t have been able to try otherwise – like show cattle, horse riding and agriculture.’
By the time she was in her final year of high school, Harriette knew which subjects she wanted to focus on.
‘I had amazing teachers so I loved a lot of the subjects I did,’ she recounts. ‘I chose physics and maths, but I needed a creative outlet. So I chose visual arts and design and technology.’
It was the combination of her creative and engineering strengths that led Harriette to pursue a Bachelor of Design at the University of Melbourne, majoring in architecture.
Once accepted, she needed to decide where to live. But due to the COVID border closures, residential colleges in Melbourne could only offer virtual tours.
‘I thought that Trinity would be a good environment for me to study. From all of the videos I saw it looked like a great community and, coming from Frensham where everyone knew each other in such a close-knit way, that was what I was looking to continue.’
Harriette’s hunch was right. By the end of the first week at Trinity she felt at home and was welcomed into a supportive community.
‘At Trinity, everyone knows each other’s name and you can have a conversation with anyone, so it was a similar culture to Frensham. And that was comfortable for me. ‘
But there was also the exhilaration of moving to a faraway city and being in a place where everything felt new.
‘It was a bit of a whirlwind. I remember coming to the college and walking around the oval feeling like I was in a movie and thought ‘Oh my gosh – this is a big college!’ And ‘That chapel is huge!’ Everything looked grand and I thought, ‘WOW – this is amazing!’,’ she laughs.
Although Harriette had boarded for short periods of time at Frensham, living on campus at Trinity full-time gives her the opportunity to get an education both in and out of the classroom. ‘We all study hard and support each other.’
By communicating with a wide range of people on a daily basis and learning to manage her time productively, she’s gaining invaluable skills essential for a career in architecture.
‘I can start looking for internships next year and get a sense of what it’s like to be an architect and work in a firm. Though, for now, I’m just enjoying doing my bachelor’s degree.’
By Jess Asz