Life beyond Radford

Last updated 15.11.2023

Benjamin Demery

Class of 2008
OCCUPATION Team Leader/ IT Consultant @ Telstra Purple
Lives Canberra, Australia
Attendance at radford Years 8-12
House Wandoo
  • Bachelor Degree, University of Canberra, Information & Communications Technology, 2010-2013
Work history
  • Business Systems Analyst, Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission, 2014-2018
  • Systems Integration Specialist, Epicon, 2018-2020
  • Team Leader , Telstra Purple, 2020-Present
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What does life look for you now?

After finishing at Radford in 2008 I took a gap year for holidays and then moved over the road to study a Bachelor of Information Technology at the University of Canberra.

Graduating in 2013 I worked at ACT Health for a couple of years before being accepted into an ICT Graduate Program in the Public Service within the Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission (called the CrimTrac Agency before a recent merger). You may know of our work if you have ever had to get a Background Police Check which forms our core business.

Learning the ropes as a Business Analyst I am now a System Analyst which involves working in a team designing IT systems that all 9 Police jurisdictions around Australia use on a daily basis.

I now work at the Australian Taxation Office as a Systems Integration Specialist which works to tie all the discrete IT systems together to talk and function together.

I'm now a Team Leader at Telstra Purple (the managed services division of Telstra) managing a group of other consultants including some other Radford Alumni.

What is your favourite Radford moment?

Being a house captain for Wandoo in year 12 was a definite highlight. Coming up with themes, chants and costumes for each of the carnivals was so much fun. My personal favourite was Wandoo @ the Zoo which required wearing a gorilla suit all day in the rather warm summer heat (only taken off for the first race of the day, 50m butterfly, for those sweet, sweet participation points)

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

I always looked up to Mr Leyshon while he was head of Senior School. He always had good advice for your future and also rocked a killer mo while running a vineyard. Big lesson learnt there is the teachers can tell you so much more than the subject that they’re teaching.

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

Actually really easy to decide I wanted a career in IT. I was a bit misguided in my early years of aspiring to be a pilot but after a few years in the ICT courses taught by none other than my father Mr Demery and of course Mr Scoltock, I realised IT was my future. I was pretty good at it and enjoyed that sort of thing so combined with the bonus of a shortage in the current employment marketplace with plenty of work going around I made sure to get the required marks to get a choice of a couple universities.

I knew that I wanted to stay in Canberra so the options were really UC and ANU so after looking at both and going to some information sessions I decided on UC since their IT course was much more oriented to practical applications rather than the theoretical nature ANU offered.

Working through my degree, I heard about an ICT specific Graduate program the Public Service was starting up and thought would be a great entry level step. So I applied for that and was accepted halfway through my final year to start in 2014.

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

In a general sense it did but during my post school years I figured out IT isn’t just coding and programming, there is massive world of business and system analysis that suits me much better. I can still write code when required but I think I’ve found my niche in the area between these worlds.

What advice do you have for current students?

Try all different subjects at school! I did Hospitality through all the years (if only I could remember some of those recipes now), and tried my hand at woodworking and even textiles. You only get out what you put in (thanks nutri-grain) so try your hardest in everything you do and you will see results.

Also hold onto the friends you meet at school, make sure you keep in touch and have catch-ups because the people you meet at Radford are some of the best people you will ever meet.

Where are you now?