School of Indigenous Studies

Michelle Strother


UWA Design Graduate Michelle Strother 

After completing the Aboriginal Orientation Course in 1999, I entered the Bachelor of Environmental Design as the initial step in the Architecture degree at UWA. At that stage the Architecture Degree was a direct flow on from Environmental Design which made it a five year full time commitment.

The passion that I was pursuing was a strong creative streak that I enjoyed developing, mainly as a hobby in my life prior to formal study. I loved creating all sorts of projects, drawing, sketching, painting, building and generally being arty. Environmental Design allowed me to fulfil all of these elements of interest, in addition I was able to study the greater fine arts, history and other more academic fine art related topics.

As life had its twists and turns, I did not complete both degrees contributing to becoming an architect, as I felt I was neglecting my other very strong passion of health, injury prevention and interacting with people on a much more personal level. After completing the first degree of three years, I transferred to commence a Bachelor of Science (Physiotherapy).

Many people cannot draw the connection in both fields of study but when you break both areas of study down at a philosophical level, they are both 3 dimensional in nature, they both require analytical, problem based thinking and require a degree of manual technique and skill.

My first degree has not gone to waste. On a professional level, I use many elements of my design learning in my current physiotherapy specialty of occupational health and ergonomics but it has also proved very helpful in creating interesting promotional and marketing material amongst other things. On a personal level, I use many of the skills in my real estate renovating pursuits. Overall, the Bachelor of Environmental Design has provided me with a broad educational background in design while I have also been fortunate to develop valuable and enduring friendships during my time at UWA.