​Olivia Goonatillake

2013 Collegian


Olivia Goonatillake can't remember when she first became interested in design. It has always been second nature for the 2013 Course Exhibition winner.

As a toddler Olivia grew up "always doing something creative" and continued her passion for art and creativity at school.

She credits MLC with nurturing that creativity.

"MLC encouraged me a lot, especially at the textiles' department because they were always so happy to have lots of new people come in and just experiment. I felt quite at home there," said Olivia.

"It was the most exciting part of the day for a lot of students who did those courses because you just felt like you belonged and that was your area.

"I think MLC is unique because of the course. We always do so well and Mrs Lundy is such an amazing teacher. I was so encouraged and supported by her."

Olivia received the Course Exhibition for Materials Design and Technology after topping the course in Western Australia. It's an accolade she is happy to receive.

"There was a lot of stress building up to the WACE exams but once you've gone through it and you're done, you see that all the study was worth it. I'm happy it's over," she said.

"I was really pleased with my result. It allowed me to get into the course I wanted, which is Communicative Design."

To do that course, Olivia has moved to Melbourne to attend Monash University. It's a move her parents support as she has a big family network in the bustling city.

"My family is from Melbourne so I have masses of cousins and aunties and uncles, and grandparents there. We go back a lot," she told Strive.

"It's never felt like a world away, it's always felt like next door because we have gone over so often to visit family. It doesn't feel too big of a jump.

"Melbourne is so busy and lively. I love having access to all of the museums and art exhibitions because I can go out and get some inspiration and come back and finish my work."