In touch with … Danni Gray

Having recently celebrated 40 years with Flinders University, there isn’t much Danni Gray couldn’t tell you about Flinders. We sat down with her to discuss what has changed since 1982, and heard some inside gossip about long lunches back in the day.

What is your current role, and what does it focus on?

My current role is Student Administration Services Assistant (SASA) in the College of Education, Psychology and Social Work (ESPW).  The role focuses on assisting all things to do with the student experience.

Describe the journey brought you to Flinders, and how you ended up in your current role

Way back in June 1982 my boyfriend’s (at the time) mother was the French Secretary in what was then called the School of Humanities. She mentioned there was a job going within the School and, as I wasn’t particular happy with where I was working, I applied and as they say, the rest is history.

I was with Humanities for 28 years then applied for a higher-level role in Health Care Management in the Faculty of Health Sciences where I was for 8 years. When the restructure came I was disestablished and had to apply for a position and won my current role with EPSW where I have been for the last 4 years.

In that 40 years I have had two lots of maternity leave for my daughters who are now 25 & 28 – my eldest even studied teaching here at Flinders.

What has changed since you started at Flinders?

I don’t think I’ve got the room to list what has changed since I started at Flinders!

Technology wise, I started with an IMB Electric Golf ball Typewriter, then the first Apple Macs came along to what we have now.

All Disciplines had their own ‘Secretaries’, and we seemed to have a much closer relationship with all the students.

Socially, there were long lunches with our favourite academics in the Staff Club. I suppose it’s been long enough for me to let slip that there were a couple of those lunches where we didn’t even get back to the office – those were the days!

In my time at Flinders, we’ve gone from Schools with Disciplines, to Faculties, and now we’ve got Colleges.

What’s your best story to tell about your time here?

Probably what I mentioned above about relashionships. It was a different time, there was less stress and more social contact – it felt like everyone knew everyone and we were all a part of the same ‘family’.

Sadly, things have changed as the University has grown and people seem to work within their areas and there’s a bit more division these days.

What do you love most about your work?

The variety of my role and, as cliched as it sounds, the people I work with. I have been very fortunate to work with a great bunch of people in all the roles and places I have worked within the University.

How do you relax and spend your spare time?

Easy one! Family, friends, camping, gym, going for walks & travelling, mostly to warm locations due to my husband’s passion for surfing.

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