BirdAn origami like bird iconCaseA briefcase like bagCoinA dollar sign in a circleDirectory of WomenDirectory of WomenDocumentsA pile of documentsFacebookFind Victorian Women's Trust on FacebookFlagsSeveral strings of flagsHeartA heart iconInstagramFind Victorian Women's Trust on InstagramLinked InFind Victorian Women's Trust on Linked InMap markerMap marker iconMegaphoneMegaphone iconMountainsMountains with flag on top iconScalesA set of scalesTickTick in a circleTwitterFind Victorian Women's Trust on TwitterYoutubeFind Victorian Women's Trust on Youtube

Colleen Chen

“My family left China to come to Australia when I was 8 years old. As a migrant, my English was kind of floundering and in Grade 4 my mum pushed me to get tutoring to make sure that I was competitive going into high school.

Today I’m a law student and the founder of volunteer organisation, Interns Australia. I’m very proud of my team.

We’re a committed, tight group of young people who feel passionately that our work should be valued and that we shouldn’t give it away so easily just because we are told we’re inexperienced.

When I entered the workforce, I became increasingly aware of the disparity between how women’s work is valued and how they are treated and this really stirred my interest in gender equality.

I’m in my mid twenties now and gender definitely makes me reflect on the types of career paths I want to take in order to balance the prospect of having children.

I think the Trust sheds light on and promotes the work of a diverse range of women doing excellent work in Victoria. That alone is very powerful and inspiring to young women who have a lot of energy and desire to be a part of the movement but may not know where to begin.”

As told to Judit Brown.

More about Colleen:

Colleen was a speaker at Breakthrough 2016, VWT’s two day gender equality event. She is the founder of Interns Australia; a peak body for support and advocacy for interns and students undertaking work placements in Australia. They operate across areas of research, consulting and education.

Her story appears as part of our series #StoriesThatMakeUs in which we’re turning the spotlight onto the people who make up our community.

Image: Bri Hammond

More Stories


"I aspire to make the most of my life while remaining respectful to the culture that I’m a part of, but my greatest challenge has been trying to find the balance between being a Sudanese woman and growing up in Australian society."

Read more


"If I had one message to give young women it would be to stop apologising and don’t diminish the things that you know."

Read more

Stories that make us

In this series, we're turning the spotlight onto some of the people who make up our community. Each person flies the flag for gender equality in their own way. Some do it quietly and purposefully, by giving their time or financial support, whereas others shout the cause out from the rooftops.

Read more