Humans of La Trobe – Isabella Farchione

Isabella is every woman. From running her small jewellery business to travelling the world this past year, whilst balancing a job and her double degree, she is a gem. She also finds time to maintain a social life and care for her baby – butler the dog.

What do you study?
Double degree in health sciences and International development, final year, I haven’t deferred, 4 year degree

What bought you to this degree?
The only reason I chose this degree was because preferences in year 12 were due and I just what I saw. I didn’t know what I wanted. I did varying subjects in year 12 and I liked development so this was it. Further, I lived twenty minutes away from La Trobe so it was a no brainer.

What do you want to do in life?
The goal after university, when I graduate, is to spend a year working saving money to travel and volunteering. At the end of the day I was to work for a small local non-governmental organisation doing development work. Nothing as big as the UN, starting on a grassroots level. I’m not necessarily attracted to the big NGO’s. It’s easy to get lost in. I want to work with people, on a very personal level.

What do you want to accomplish in life?
Make people happy. Just make someone’s life better you know.

Besides studying, you’ve spent some time to travelling this past year. Where did you go?
I had a friend who was doing an exchange in Hong Kong this time last year, a friend and myself decided to visit him. We decided to go to Beijing for a few days then Japan (absolutely loved it). I went to china as part of the Australia china student forum in the city of Chongqing. I got the opportunity to study the language in China and meet people. Prior to China I went to Hong Kong (again) then Chengdu in china to see the pandas. When travelling I love staying in multi room hostels. I get the opportunity to meet people from around the world. I’ve made friends of a lifetime this past year.

Where do you want to travel next?
It doesn’t matter where you travel, its who you travel with. I love connecting with people. I’m definitely a people person – going out, exploring nightlife, laughing, learning about cultures, foods, hiking – love it! I love the road less travelled, exploring places regular tour groups never go.

I’ve heard about your online jewellery store, tell us how that came about.
I was invited to a school formal in year 12 and I couldn’t find a necklace to match my dress. So I made my own. At the formal everyone asked me where I got it and I said id make a few for them. I ended up selling them to my friends. As time went on I began making more. Months after I got my Instagram page, then the website. I have a friend who is a model. And there we go. It’s a big learning curve for me. Its important for me to give back, profit isn’t what I’m after. So I give a lot of my profit away to different organisations like R U OK day or mental health awareness organisations. As of recently I give a dollar of every $15 spent on my store to the sea shepherd. I mean my business is called ‘Dawfin’. I love dolphins.

Tell us about Butler, your baby!
I got him when he was 8 months old. He’s changed me. He’s changed my life, mentally and physically. I adore him. He took me out of a place I didn’t want to be. I named him after my favourite musician, John Butler. My family loves him. My mum, always jokes that if I move out she’ll take me to court over the dog. My dad takes him for walks. We love him.

Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
I don’t like doing that. I hate it. I’m a spontaneous person. I don’t do the ten-year thing. I can’t look any further than 6 months. I finish university this year, I can’t see past that. I end up worrying if I plan too far ahead. If I want something to happen I’ll make it happen. I don’t plan that far ahead. I don’t even know what I’ll do when I graduate. I take it as it comes

You also play football?
I play women’s football. I play for diamond creek. A lot of my friends have been drafted into the AFL. I couldn’t be prouder of this movement – women football. I love football. I get to see my friends three times a week and also keep fit, I love it.

Trump? Yay or nay?
He’s going to make some very f*cked up decisions, we know that. He’s now opened a social forum for people to view their opinions more openly than before. He’s allowing discuss of hatred come into social context. If he gets impeached, his Vice president will become president. That Mike Pence is a smart Donald Trump, its not going to get better. This will affect Australia. The next four years will definitely be tough, for all of us.

By Kevin Kapeke interviewing Isabella Farchione

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