Steve Stefanopoulos is currently the Heritage Collection and Records Manager at Loreto Mandeville Hall, Toorak.
Interview with Steve Stefanopoulos
Can you tell us about your time at Deakin? Is there anything you especially remember?
My time at Deakin was fruitful as it firmed up my knowledge of the museum sector.
What has been your journey since finishing your course? Briefly outline your career path prior to your current role.
I am currently the Heritage Collection and Records Manager at Loreto Mandeville Hall, Toorak. Prior to this appointment I was the Archivist for the Blessed Sacrament Congregation and St Francis' Church, Melbourne; De La Salle College, Malvern; and Mentone Girls' Grammar School. I was the first professional archivist appointed at all four institutions.
I provide professional advice to a number of schools, churches, hospitals and religious orders regarding their heritage (archive and museum) collections. I was a former Committee Member of the National Council of the Australian Society of Archivists (ASA), Victorian School Archives Special Interest Group ASA and the Victorian Branch of the ASA. I was also formerly the Convenor of the National School Archives Special Interest Group of the ASA. I was a co-author of the ASA's flagship publication, Keeping Archives 3rd Edition.
I was a Councillor for the City of Stonnington (2004 – 2008) and was re-elected in 2016. I am the Chair of the Stonnington History Committee, and during my first term on Council I oversaw the development of the new Stonnington History Centre at Northbrook.
I have co-authored a number of walk books and general history books on the City of Stonnington and published a pictorial history for my alma mater.
What has been the biggest influence on your career?
Strategic relationships with various people is the key to success. Meeting people who have opened doors, given me ideas, and challenged my thinking have allowed me to grow and become a better strategic thinker.
Have you always wanted to pursue the kind of career you have embarked on? If so, when and how did you realise?
I have always been keen on strategic planning – that is, planning for the future, what are the long term goals and aspirations, and how can we get there and bring people along on the journey. It can be difficult to bring people on a changed journey, but staying positive and listening is key.
What advice would you give graduates wanting to pursue a similar profession?
Develop your network of friends, acquaintances, both personal and professional, and step outside the square and always put your hand up to volunteer for an organisation that you are interested in or have a passion for.
What do you believe Deakin University has shown you/given you as a person?
The University gave me the acknowledgment of my knowledge and reaffirmed by skills and recognised my expertise in the field of museum practice.
What are your passions outside your work?
I love history and architecture and urban planning. I conduct heritage walks, tours and talks in and around Stonnington.
How would someone describe you?
Passionate. Committed. Honest. Trustworthy. What you see is what you get. Open to new ideas. Always push the boundaries.
Is there any advice you would give to a person who is starting out in your career?
What’s your least favourite word?
“Like” when it is used as a filler word and not for its true meaning.
What is something that amazes you?
The fact that young people are keenly interested in their environment in which they live and the welfare of others.