Lucinda’s Inspiring Journey: Santa Maria to Council and Beyond

Lucinda Maywood, official photo for Town of East Fremantle

Lucinda Maywood (Class 2019) is a Santa Maria College alumni who has successfully juggled a double degree in Arts and Science, a role as a councillor for the Town of East Fremantle, and active participation in the WA Youth Parliament. Although Lucinda only attended Santa Maria College for two years, her time at the College still had a major influence on her future path. Her journey is a testament to the power of following one’s passions and making a difference in the community. In this interview, she shares her motivations, challenges, and the rewarding experiences that have shaped her path.

What inspired you to pursue a double degree in Arts and Science, majoring in Political Science, International Relations, and Human and Medical Sciences?

I have always been interested in politics; it is a subject that is frequently discussed in my family, and as a child, thinking about how politics affects every part of society was encouraged. Once I got to Santa Maria, I had Mr Stephen King for HASS in Years 7 and 8. He really encouraged me to continue my interest in politics through HASS but also to potentially study it at university. In terms of medical science, I wasn’t very interested in or good at science throughout most of school until I got to Years 11 and 12. I suddenly developed an interest in human biology and medical sciences, something that was completely out of my depth. I decided to study Human Biology and Psychology ATAR and I really enjoyed both, specifically the in-depth anatomy and how disease could affect the brain and wider body. Throughout ATAR, I was religiously watching medical dramas, and that really exposed me to all the possible careers in healthcare. I was particularly interested in the intersection of politics and health in the space of public health and epidemiology. When it came to selecting my degree at university, I really couldn’t choose between medical sciences and politics, so I decided to pursue a double degree majoring in Political Science, International Relations, and Human and Medical Science. It’s definitely an odd combination, and I get a lot of comments on that, but it’s been fantastic for me. It’s been a challenge, studying neuroscience and terrorism and violent extremism at the same time is sometimes overwhelming but I am really happy with the diversity of experiences and skills I’ve gotten over the four years.

What motivated you to run for a position as a councillor for the Town of East Fremantle?

I was approached to run for Council by a family friend and member of the community; before then, I hadn’t seen myself doing something like that. I felt inexperienced and probably too young to run, but after doing some more research on the Council I saw that there was a lack of diversity with female representation but also younger representation. It wasn’t an experience I just jumped into; I did a lot of research on the Council and the workload of a councillor and spoke to some of the previous younger councillors who have been at East Fremantle. I think in the end, my main motivation was wanting to see more diversity on the Council, both in terms of more women but also what I could bring as someone younger.

L to R: Santa Maria College Year 11 student Patricia, Lisa O'Malley MLA and Lucinda outside Parliament House
L to R: Santa Maria College Year 11 student Patricia, Lisa O'Malley MLA and Lucinda outside Parliament House

What have been some of the most rewarding experiences in your role as a councillor so far?

For me, even though I came into the Council towards the end of the project, seeing the new East Fremantle Community Park open would be a highlight. Seeing how well used and loved that new facility is by the community, including myself, is just mind-blowing, and it’s one of the most rewarding experiences I’ve had. I also think that one of the most incredible parts of the council for me has been the steep learning curve. Over the past eight months, I’ve developed so many skills and gained knowledge in areas I didn’t even realise existed before I came onto the council. I have my incredible fellow councillors to thank for that; they have been so generous with their time, helping me adjust and providing much-needed advice. Also, the Town staff have been incredible and patient with me. I’ve felt a lot of support from them.

Lucinda and her partner in Egypt
Lucinda and her partner in Egypt

How did you become involved with the WA Youth Parliament?

Youth Parliament has also always been something I’ve been interested in trying, but in high school, I was probably too nervous to put my hand up for the opportunity because of the large public speaking requirement. When I saw the opportunity to apply this year, I felt a lot more confident in applying and I was also more motivated because of the current housing situation in Western Australia. My main motivation was wanting to be in a space where I could formalise my ideas about potential solutions and also hear from other young people about their ideas for the state. I was also incredibly fortunate to have Lisa O’Malley, a Member for Bicton, sponsor me in my participation in the program, which made it a lot more accessible.

What topics or issues are you most passionate about addressing in Youth Parliament?

My main focus for Youth Parliament is to really put a spotlight on the housing crisis in Australia. I applied for Youth Parliament specifically with that goal in mind, and it was the main part of my application. It’s an extremely complicated issue, and although recognition of it as a major problem is bipartisan, the proposed solutions are politically divided. The apolitical design of the Youth Parliament really encourages evidence-supported debate and solutions, which is a great way to look at an issue in a more pragmatic and realistic way. I’m also very keen to speak on and hear potential solutions to the increasing domestic violence incidents across Australia, specifically the deaths and disappearances of Indigenous women who do not receive the same media coverage.

Can you share a specific project or initiative you’ve worked on that you're particularly proud of?

I’m incredibly proud of the bill I’ve been part of writing for Youth Parliament for the Housing Committee. Being a part of the team, that takes so many ideas and can turn that into a piece of potential legislation has been awesome. I’ve been really inspired by my fellow Housing Committee members and their passion for accessible and affordable housing in WA

Lucinda and her best friend Emelia in Rome in 2023

I am truly grateful for the foundation Santa Maria gave me, which has been invaluable for both my university studies and my career. Although only at the College in Years 7 and 8, I learned the importance of self-motivation, self-defence, and presenting myself professionally from an early age. Emphasis on responsibility, initiative, and treating us like adults has left a lasting impact. The communication skills I honed there are a cornerstone of my day-to-day life. Reflecting on it, the privilege of attending Santa Maria and the resources it offered, which I once took for granted, have become increasingly apparent after experiencing other educational systems.

It really sets you up for life, in ways that are sometimes small and not fully appreciated till later. The friendships I developed in Year 7 as well, despite leaving the school, are ones I still have today. My best friend Emilia who I met in the first week of Year 7 is still my closest friend, and we’ve ended up travelling together throughout Europe and going to the same university.   

What are your long-term career goals, and how do you see your current studies and roles helping you achieve them?

I’d love to work in government or for an NGO in something related to policy or any sort of implementation of broader ideas. I’m unsure of whether I want to pursue further education such as a Masters or potentially move overseas. I think my main focus is gaining some experience post grad and seeing what happens from there. My experience on council has helped me to prepare for different roles, simply because of the diversity of experiences and skills I’ve been gaining.

Outside of your studies and public service, what are some of your hobbies or interests?

Although somewhat cliche, I love to travel. Most of my money over the last three years has been put towards travelling. I went on a carless trip to the United States in 2022 for around five weeks, getting to spend my 22nd birthday at Capitol Hill in Washington, DC. Then, in 2023, I spent three months travelling through Europe, the Middle East and North Africa. The highlight of that trip was being able to go to Egypt and see the Pyramids of Giza. I was also lucky to live in Pamplona, Spain, for four months as part of a language exchange through university. Apart from working to fund travel, I love spending time with my family and friends and my partner and trying to motivate myself for the gym.

How do you think young people can get more involved in their communities?

I think with social media being such a big part of everyone’s lives, awareness about issues overseas and at home are increasing. The biggest challenge is to translate that awareness and action online into doing something in your own community, however small. Unfortunately, doing something in your community where you know people can be quite scary, especially if you are doing it alone. I also think unfortunately that cost of living pressures and university stress is creating a big burden on young people, and they really don’t have the time or money.

My advice to young people would be to think small first, join your community’s Facebook group. There are often events and opportunities there, and look at what’s offered in WA like UN Youth and Youth Parliament. I also think don’t let the fear of failure hold you back. Although easier said than done, once you break through that mental barrier a whole new world of opportunities opens for you. I found that once I applied for council, that mental block towards failure I had really decreased and I felt more confident in putting myself out there and applying for more things, even when I didn’t get them I was still happy I put my hand up in the first place.

From her time at Santa Maria College to her diverse roles in higher education and local government, Lucinda exemplifies the spirit of dedication and community involvement. Her story is an inspiring example that demonstrates that remarkable achievements are possible with determination and a willingness to step out of one’s comfort zone.

Thank you for sharing your story with us, Lucinda.

the Winter Appeal and Outreach Mass at Santa Maria College.

Term 2 – Empowering Students and Community – Jennifer Oaten

As we conclude another remarkable term at Santa Maria College, we celebrate the myriad achievements and growth of our students. Term 2 was filled with empowering opportunities, from faith-based activities and learning innovations to social awareness projects and community engagements, embodying our Mercy values and commitment to excellence.

Read More »
Scroll to Top