Moya Deigan (GDipBA 2007, MBA 2008) appreciates the value of education. Born in Wollongong, but a Tasmanian resident for over 30 years, Moya was the first in her family to go to university. Indeed, she was the first person in her family to receive her Higher School Certificate (HSC).
“I’m well aware of the financial constraints that higher education can put on people,” she said.
A long-term supporter of scholarships that increase access to university for students who may not have otherwise had the opportunity to take up higher education, Moya’s message to other alumni is one of sharing.
“Education is a gift that we’ve all had as alumni,” Moya said.
“I would encourage people to share your success with others so they can have the same opportunity.”
A passionate advocate and supporter of theatre, and with a 30-year career in the Australian Public Service (the then Department of Employment, Education, Training and Workplace Relations), Moya is certain education has enabled opportunity in her life.
Her time in the Australian Public Service included roles at the Commonwealth Employment Service (CES), managing State Public Affairs, and industry and business liaison. She also managed the Department’s accredited contract management and procurement training, which included running an Australian Public Service-wide Indigenous Diploma program.
But not everyone values education, she says.
“I might have felt the same – I didn’t have that mentoring – it wasn’t necessarily something that our family felt able to do.”
It was doing her Masters later in life that really brought home the benefits of a University education to Moya.
“It’s about access to critical thinking – acquiring that collective wisdom of the generations that went before you,” she said. “That’s what is of greatest value to me.”
Moya has also made long-term contributions through volunteering for a range of theatre organisations, including the Hobart Rep (Hobart Repertory Theatre/The Playhouse), where she has been involved for 25 years, typically producing a show a year.
She has been Executive Officer for the Theatre Council of Tasmania, which saw her help to establish the statewide Tasmanian Theatre Awards program. Moya was also involved in the Tasmanian Theatre Company and continues to be engaged with MADE theatre.
Moya worked on the Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery’s redevelopment, and has managed marketing for Arts organisations and media for canoeing events including the Wildwater World Cup, which was held in Tasmania in 2009.
She also volunteers as an adult migrant English-language tutor and was previously heavily involved with the Art Deco Society.
In an interesting twist, Moya was Secretary and Editor for the Astronomical Society of Tasmania, which has a long and close association with the University.
“I’ve always liked astronomy,” Moya said, adding that it was the first research area she donated to. She has also supported the University’s Menzies Institute for Medical Research.
But it was upon finishing her MBA that Moya turned her attention to access scholarships, namely the Southern Lights Access Scholarships, set up by the University as an opportunity for students to change their lives through education.
“That’s when I decided that I’d like to support the educational prospects of others, because my experience at University was a positive one,” Moya said.
Written by Katherine Johnson for Alumni Magazine Issue 53, 2022.
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Top of page: Moya Deigan at the Playhouse Theatre. Image: OI Studios