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Pembroke’s old scholar community of more than 16,000 live in 58 countries across the globe. We contacted a few old scholars to see what they are up to and how they have been coping during the COVID-19 pandemic.

25 June 2020

Simon Callaghan (2000), Brooklyn USA

Where do you live?
Greenpoint in Brooklyn.

What do you do for work?
I work for Austrade at the Australian Consulate in New York. I work with fintech, blockchain, and EdTech companies, helping them enter Australia and the US. I also work with universities in the northeast, helping facilitate research collaboration with Australia.

How has your workplace/industry had to adapt during the COVID-19 pandemic?
We have been working from home since March. The team remains locked down here in New York, trying to open new conversations with businesses, and encouraging them to consider Australia within their medium to long-term strategy. Obviously not too many companies are moving to Australia in the short-term, but with Australia's COVID-19 recovery, it presents a strong value proposition to businesses despite our small population.

What do you miss about Australia?
I miss my parents and my mates the most. I'm still close to a number of my school friends, and I always enjoy seeing my Pembroke friends from various years. While I appreciate the directness and speed at which New York operates, the Australian way of life is uniquely special and is something to be cherished.

Juliet Chan (1994), Kuala Lumpur MALAYSIA

Where do you live?
I live in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

What do you do for work?
I work as the Director of Corporate Communications at HELP University.

How has your workplace/industry had to adapt during the COVID-19 pandemic?
Universities had to move all the teaching online as the Malaysian government imposed a Movement Control Order, and we are under a partial lockdown. Staff now have to work from home. In a way this was good as it accelerated the 100% adoption of online learning and teaching, especially for the university I am working at.

For me personally, the first couple of weeks were not easy, as I have two young children who have to attend online school. I have to help them with their schoolwork, and at the same time attend meetings online, get my work done, as well as manage the household. So, it is actually more work!

What do you miss about Australia?
You'd be surprised! I miss the food, especially the pies and the steak sandwiches. I miss the beautiful starlit skies, the birds, the smell of the gum trees, the beaches, the weather, and being able to just stroll down to the park for a game of tennis, it's too humid here in Malaysia. I miss the friendly Aussie people.

Alice (Crabtree) Mazzola (2005), Brighton UK

Where do you live?
Brighton, UK (That's Brighton beach in the photo).

What do you do for work?
I'm the International Sustainability Manager at the Body Shop. My team measure and report the company's global social and environmental performance alongside its financial performance. We also led the company's recent certification as a B Corp, joining a global collective of leading companies wanting to use business as a force for good.

How has your workplace/industry had to adapt during the COVID-19 pandemic?
As a high street retail business, The Body Shop was significantly impacted by global lockdown measures and store closures. The business shifted rapidly to expand our online shops and The Body Shop at Home, our network of direct sales consultants. The most important thing during this period is the welfare of our store teams and giving back to the community where we can. In April the company donated 225,000 hand and hygiene products to NHS workers at hospitals around the UK and more around the world.

What do you miss about Australia?
My family. I also miss how multicultural Australia is, and the variety of amazing food and produce we have (I miss the Central Market!!)