Life beyond Radford

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Last updated 29.07.2017

Alex Carder

Class of 2005
OCCUPATION Musician and DJ
Lives Canberra, Australia
Attendance at radford Years 7-12
House Banksia
Work history
  • Business Owner, Creative Sound Concepts Canberra, 2011-Present
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What does life look for you now?

In between regular performances with bands or as a DJ, I still like to go running and cycling, and enjoy gardening and spending time at home with my family

Tell us what you are passionate about?

Music has always been, and is still a huge part of my life. Working as a self-employed musician and DJ, I also provide an entertainment booking service that hand-picks musical acts to suit clients vision for an event. It's a difficult balance to continue to enjoy music, but also work in the industry. Staying passionate about providing the best service possible, and paying attention to detail ensures that my "job" is always interesting, and never feels like work - that way I can continue to think of music as a career-based hobby.

When you were young, what were you hoping to be when you grew up?

I wanted to run for Australia at the Olympics.

What is your favourite Radford moment?

Sports carnivals were great - especially Foundation Day, where you could try all sorts of different events each year. I also really enjoyed the music program, where I made lifelong friends and was able to play in all sorts of bands and travel to cool places like Canada.

Do you have a particular role model or inspirational figure from Radford or now?

So many teachers at the school shaped the person I am today - whether they were my teachers, or just people I interacted with through co-curricular activities.

In Year 7, i went in my first athletics event - the ABS Fun Run. A science teacher - Mr McCarthy took us to the event to represent Radford. I didn't do that great, but Mr McCarthy thought I had potential to be a good runner. He found me a coach, and I started training. It gave me a focus when I was in a difficult spot, and led me to become a state representative, join development programs at the AIS and to compete against some of the worlds fastest runners in the trials for the 2006 Melbourne Commonwealth Games. A small act of kindness from a teacher who hardly knew me, gave me a purpose throughout school.

Many teachers at Radford were an inspiration in their own way, by making their classes something special. Mrs McCabe made her English classes interactive, and engaging. Helen Smith's Japanese classes were always exciting, and Christine Smith in the music faculty was always there to support students through anything. In college I thought Ms Van Strien was the worst teacher ever, because she forced me to work hard in Science - looking back now, I respect and am thankful for what she did for me, even if I didn't know it at the time!

How easy was it to decide what to do in life?

Throughout school, I never really knew what I wanted to do. I loved music, art, geography and sports; so i always assumed that I'd end up doing something like that. Even when putting in my preferences for university entries in year 12, I still wasn't sure whether I'd make the right decision. over ten years down the track, and I've had some amazing work experiences and continue to value each opportunity I get to do something different. It's never too late to change your mind about your career choices, so always be willing to take chances if they come knocking on your door.

Did your further study or career go exactly as you'd planned?

I've attended two universities, and changed my study streams on several occasions. Life events, and different opportunities have meant that things haven't always gone the way I'd planned. If things don't turn out the way you expect, it's not always a bad thing, and embracing what's in front of you can give you great opportunities to grow and learn.

What advice do you have for current students?

Radford is a fantastic place to learn, grow and make friends. Take advantage of every opportunity given to you - be it traditional classes, co-curricular activities or getting involved with the community. Don't be worried if your career path isn't immediately clear, find something that you enjoy, and give it a go. Think of your experiences as life-long education, and get out there and have fun!

Where are you now?