Charlie Bertilone

My WAIT degree was a defining point in my life

When I see this old newsletter clipping, it reminds me of that Bruce Springsteen song, “Glory Days”. Because my three years at WAIT between 1975 and 1977 were glory days for me.

I had dropped out of a Bachelor of Agricultural Science course at UWA after only six months, but was lucky enough to get a job in computer operations in 1973 (first at Wesfarmers, and then CBH). After working for 18 months, I knew I wanted to go further in IT so started looking around at what was available in terms of tertiary education. WAIT was the only institution offering the type of course I wanted to study.

I was offered a position and then spent three years working very hard but also having the best time of my life. I ended up winning two awards: the Douglas Computing Services prize for the most outstanding final year student in the Bachelor of Business (Information Processing) and the Perth Chamber of Commerce prize for the top student in the School of Business and Administration. WAIT was able to give me a healthy balance between the theoretical requirements of the institute and the practical demands of industry. So much so that I had a job before I even finished my course, commencing as a Programmer at the Main Roads Department in December 1977 (on a grand salary of $10,196 per year – yes, I still have the job advertisement).

My WAIT degree was a defining point in my life; without it, doors would not have been opened to me and my career and personal life would not have followed the course that it did.

Charlie Bertilone