Life beyond Radford

Last updated 15.05.2017

Dimity McClelland-Smith ( McClelland )

Class of 1996
OCCUPATION Australian Government
Lives Canberra, Australia
Attendance at radford Years 7-12
House Huon
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What does life look for you now?

Life for me at the moment is mostly about family. I have a wonderful husband (Brant Smith - class of '96), and 2 adorable (at least to us!) daughters - Amelie (born 2011) and Tahlia (2013). Amelie is now attending Radford College Junior School which is fantastic, and it has opened up an interesting new perspective on the school for me!

After my youthful rejection of Canberra as 'home' whilst living in various places overseas between the ages of 18-25 - including Ireland for several years - I am now settled and happy back in Canberra by choice!

Apart from family, my 'music in the blood' has found its passion outlet in the children's music classes I run (Little Bee Music), introducing 0-4 year olds to the wonderful world of music through structured musical play.

After a varied and rewarding 'career' path, and a degree in Anthropology, I now also work in the Indigenous Affairs space for the Australian Government.

Tell us what you are passionate about?

Although on a 'temporary' hiatus due to lack of energy and time (mainly), I am still very much in love with art in all its forms. This passion, similar to my music, has found a secondary outlet for the time being through my children. My daughter Amelie is a mini artist in herself and I am thrilled to continue inspiring her in that! That said, I can't wait for the day I can find the energy to focus back on my own work.

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

To be honest, I don't remember wanting to be anything specific, except possibly something in the creative arts.My main hope at that stage was to keep learning about the world and building on the passions and skills I wanted to develop.

What is your favourite Radford moment?

That would be coming back with my daughter to start her Pre-K year in 2015. I am in awe of the Radford Junior school and very impressed by the ethos around Learning there. Although sometimes I am a tad jealous of the incredible creative arts and music programs and facilities they now have. They were sorely missed by us in high school.

I do have some very fond memories of Year 12 too, given it was then I realized how important my 'school family' had become to me, once my actual family had moved away to the US for that year.

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

I have let life direct me for the most part so once I was ready to take something on, opportunity arose and my decision was fairly easy. I sometimes wonder if I should have been more ambitious in my goals, but I realize how much I would have missed out on if I had done that.

Every moment of my life has built my love for it, and the mere fact that I can keep learning and growing, and passing that on to my girls, is what I hope to continue.

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

Well, the simple answer to that is 'yes'. And that worked because I 'planned' in broad scope, rather than details - I wanted to go to university, I wanted to travel and live in other countries, I wanted to do something creative but I also wanted to be able to earn enough money to support myself. All this happened - though in a completely random order! I learned not to stress about when things happened because as long as I still wanted it to happen, it was just a matter of timing.

Where are you now?