On Monday 11 April 2022 Melbourne City Councillor Philip Le Liu visited St Mary's College to be interviewed by Deputy Principal Shaun Lancashire. Below is a summary of the interview:
Graduating in 2001 Cr Philip Le Liu attended CBC for his secondary school years. Remembering the amazing teachers, the friendships and the diverse cultural community he was a part of, ‘he was able to be who he is’. Philip says, ‘he loved it and made him who is today’.
He took Legal Studies and Further Mathematics at PCW and is thrilled that St Mary’s College has furthered co-educational studies being a fully co-educational school at the two campuses.
Philip describes his days as a student as ‘a quite student, a middle of the road student’. Philip did not take on student leadership roles at school. A career in local Government was not a goal when he was a student, however Philip reflected on the values of service instilled in him as a student at CBC, which influenced his later career decisions. Reflecting on the CBC Social Justice Walkathon (still a strong tradition today at St Mary’s College) to raise money for others, is now a strong memory. CBC had an exchange program, a great influence on Philip, with students from overseas studying with him in Australia. An early inspiration for his advocacy work grew from these experiences with international students, forming respect and responsibility in later life to grow and support them.
Philip was recognized as one of ‘40 Under 40 Most Influential Asian-Australians’ and the winner of the Public Sector / Government in 2019 for his work in the community, in particular his advocacy for international students. This award was a validation for his work that furthered his passion and encouragement to support the international student community in Melbourne.
“CBC provided opportunities that if I went to another school, I would not have had”.
Coming from a corporate career, Philip made the decision to help people and give back to the community rather than continuing his path in Consulting. Through encouragement and opportunity from his mentor, he decided to make the change into local Government.
Serving others as an elected Councillor member of the City of Melbourne Council for the past five years, Philip’s portfolios include treasury, education and innovation and is the Council’s representative on the numerous committees and bodies. In June, Philip will deliver a critical budget as part of a government response to support the Central Business District devastated by COVID.
"It is what you go into government for – to create impact and change. I have the opportunity to shape Melbourne in the worst period of time and help plan for the future so that future generations will benefit".
Cr Le Liu is proud to invigorate business in the City of Melbourne through good governance and representation. In the five years of his service as a Councillor, Philip believes that he has had more opportunities to create impact than other professions would have in a lifetime. Every decision he makes affects Melbourne and peoples’ lives, and he is very proud to be involved in complex decision making that have made a big difference. He reflected on the long history of decorated people who have served on the City of Melbourne and believes his is a custodian role that will pass on an important legacy.
Philip is still connected to a small group of classmates. They are good friends that keep in touch. He connects with a greater group of Alumni using social media. Philip says, ‘the Alumni network is so strong with many doing great things and I would love to reconnect with not only Alumni from my year but also those in other years’.
Philip says he ‘drives past the school, pointing it out with a sense of pride, having attended the College. ‘It brings back great memories’.
Philip feels a great synergy within St Mary’s College as a co-educational school and gives his best wishes for its ongoing success. Philip was thrilled to see the recent success of our soccer team and is keen to see our students go on to further success in the sporting, academic and social justice fields.
Philip’s hope for our College community is strength in cultural diversity and building international student relationships that will foster great connections and friendships that will last a lifetime.
Watch the full interview