Life beyond Radford

Last updated 28.03.2018

Caitlin MacDonald

Class of 2003
Lives Amman, Jordan
Attendance at radford Years 7-12
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What does life look for you now?

Currently I'm living in Amman, Jordan working for CARE International overseeing peograms inside Syria. I've been here just 5 months so far but I've been living in the region for around 4 years working in Lebanon for the refugee population and in Turkey for affected populations inside Syria. I've been working in humanitarian aid for around 8 years now, starting out at The Fred Hollows Foundation in Sydney before moving overseas. Apart from Turkey and the Middle East I've worked and lived in Bangladesh and Nepal. I've got a French partner who I live with here. We met in Lebanon a few years ago and he does similar work to myself but more focused on water and sanitation.
My family remains in Australia and my closest friends, those I met at Radford live both in Australia and around the world making for amazing catch up locations. I try to get back to Australia around every 6-12 months for a visit to see family, friends and in particular my grandmother who will be 99 years old this year.

What is your favourite Radford moment?

I don't think I have any one particular memory but rather those small moments during class or lunch with friends laughing. My year of Radford was full of the most incredible, hilarious and talented people and I still feel very linked to a lot of them. Some of the people I met in my year are still my closest and oldest friends. I joke that I'd get new ones but I can't find any others as hilarious or awesome as the ones I've got. So actually, I would say my most endearing memory was the people.
I also loved the outdoor adventure focus. I loved year 9 camp, Leysho and Crash trips were excellent. I also went to Japan for the language trip which was just an incredible experience - I didn't realise just how fortunate I was.

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

As above I think those in my year have shaped me the most. A lot of my closest friends work in socially-minded and adventurous jobs which have inspired me over the years to reach out into my own career path.
From a teacher perspective I would have to say Mr Leyshon - his eternally stable presence, his careful instruction during an abseiling trip or his small moments of wisdom which he would impress upon you at a most unexpected moment, behind that hard exterior you could tell was a total legend. These are still my favorite kinds of people today. He taught me to always seek, always push a bit further, always ask the question.

Where are you now?