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We are UC

Find out the stories behind the people who make up the University of Canberra community. Get to know more about your teachers, students and peers, one tale at a time. To see more stories about us, follow the hashtag #WeAreUC

Ryan Lonergan

Ryan Lonergan
ACT Brumbies development player and Bachelor of Applied Business (Management) student

"I’ve wanted to be a professional rugby player for as long as I can remember, so being on a development contract with the Brumbies in 2017 is a dream come true. That’s not to say it wasn’t a surreal feeling at first. I had to pinch myself a few times to make sure I wasn’t living in a fantasy.

I’m training full-time with the squad and studying a Bachelor of Applied Business (Management) part-time at the University of Canberra. It’s an online course and completely self-paced. Studying and training means I have a busy schedule, but I’m doing one unit at a time and managing the workload quite well.

It doesn’t really bother me how long it takes to complete my studies, just as long as I’m doing something that’s going to prepare me for life after rugby because you never know what’s going to happen on the field. I could suffer a career-ending injury or stop enjoying the game. Having a plan for when I stop playing is important to me and I think studying is the right way to go."


Dr Mary Walsh
University of Canberra Associate Professor of Politics - Faculty of Business, Government & Law

"My mother told me that when I was three years old I announced that one day I would be a professor of politics. I always wanted to teach at a university, and now here I am. I came to the University of Canberra in 2001 and was recently recognised for 15 years’ service.

I love teaching politics at UC. In my time here, I’ve been given so many wonderful opportunities to shape and develop how politics is studied. Founding the Bachelor of Politics and International Relations degree in 2010 is a real career highlight for me.

I’m also the founding patron of PIRaNaS, the University’s Politics, International Relations and National Security Student Association. I am so proud of what they’ve achieved – most notably winning Faculty Club of the Year in 2013, 2014 and 2015.

Working at UC is one of the greatest privileges I’ve had and while I have received numerous awards – including an Australian Learning and Teaching Council Citation and the UCSA Lecturer of the Year award in 2015 and 2016 – nothing compares to inspiring my students to believe in themselves and follow their dreams."


Leonardo Di Fronzo
Proprietor - Leonardo's Hair Salon at the Hub

"I have been cutting hair at the University of Canberra for 23 years. You could say I’m part of the woodwork, but I feel more like a member of the UC family.

I was in my early 20s when I opened my salon on campus in 1994 and I haven’t looked back since. Cutting hair is how I make a living, but it’s the people at UC who keep me coming back year after year.

I’ve been fortunate enough to meet people who I count as dear friends. I’ve watched peoples’ kids grow up – some of whom now come to me to have their hair cut – and I’m still in contact with former clients who have left Canberra.

Working on campus, I’m inspired every day to be the best that I can be. It’s a simple rule to live by and it’s why there’s no place I’d rather be.

I consider myself so lucky to be a part of this institution and I hope to be one of UC’s longest-serving vendors. The University has been loyal to me and I want to repay the kindness I’ve been afforded."

Carleigh Tongs

Carleigh Tongs
Bachelor of Pharmacy (2016)
UC alumna

"I’m the first person in my immediate family to graduate from university and the first Indigenous student to graduate from the Bachelor of Pharmacy at UC.

During my degree, I did a two-week hospital placement in Moruya and Batemans Bay. That fortnight was the highlight of my degree and made me realise I wanted to pursue hospital pharmacy. I’ve been lucky enough to land a year-long internship at Alice Springs Hospital which has the largest renal unit in the southern hemisphere. There’s only one intern position available so I’ll be by myself. It’s a bit daunting because I don’t know anyone in Alice Springs and it will be my first time living out of home. I think it’s a great opportunity to become more independent.

I’m considering returning to study clinical pharmacy or completing a master’s degree in public health with a focus on Indigenous health. I’m interested in learning more about Indigenous health in terms of their disadvantage by genetic background, which means they’re predisposed to a lot more conditions compared to other cultures."


Ryan Lonergan

Bachelor of Applied Business student

Development player - ACT Brumbies

Mary Walsh

Associate Professor of Politics - University of Canberra

Carleigh Tongs

Bachelor of Pharmacy (2016)

- University of Canberra

Leonardo Di Fronzo

Proprietor - Leonardo's Hair Salon -

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