Updated: Mar 30, 2021
After working as a speech pathologist for over 20 years in hospitals, community health, and management roles, it was seven years ago that Julia Croatto began dedicating her time towards local activism and volunteer work.
Julia grew up in Leongatha, South Gippsland before moving to Melbourne to attend Presentation College Girls Boarding School in Windsor and eventually going on to study speech pathology at the Lincoln Institute, now part of La Trobe University.
Julia, whose parents both worked in the medical field, read that speech pathology involved “helping people that need help with communicating”, and the value and necessity of this appealed to her when deciding on her career path. From her first job in the field at a regional hospital close to home in South Gippsland, she absolutely “loved it” working with both children and adults, forming good relationships and rapport.
In the early 1990s, Julia moved to Arnhem Land and studied linguistics at the former Northern Territory University, where she learned about Aboriginal and cross-culture communities. Upon returning to Victoria, Julia worked at a hospital in Castlemaine before moving to Melbourne.
Julia has lived in Kew for 16 years now with her husband Eugen, a psychiatrist, and their two daughters, one who studies medicine at Monash University while the other recently moved to Canberra to study humanities and politics.
Having always cared about environmental issues and participated in activism through petitions and mailing lists, when Julia finished working about ten years ago she became progressively more involved as an official volunteer and activist.
Currently, Julia is a committee member of Australian Conservation Foundation Boroondara (ACFB), Kooyong Climate Change Alliance, and a regular participant in Lighter Footprints and the Sustainability Committee at her Collingwood Parish.
Julia is actively involved in the Boroondara community through her various roles such as running stalls for ACFB at events like the Boroondara Volunteer Expo, attending and participating in the Glenferrie Festival for many years, as well as conducting street petitions along Glenferrie Road.
Julia does most of her shopping in Kew and Hawthorn. She often picks up books at Readings, bouquets from Panache Flowers, eats out at various local restaurants and cafes including Rococo and a favourite of her and her husband’s, Thien Nam.
Overall, Julia sees that her work in environmental advocacy has helped engage, inform, and encourage individuals and the community to be more aware of their own impact. Citing the City of Boroondara’s 2020 Climate Action Plan and the election of strong climate advocate Councillor Wes Gault in Glenferrie Ward, Julia believes there is significant interest within the local community about climate and environmental issues.
Anyone interested to sign up and join ACFB can visit: acf.org.au/group_boroondara