Life beyond Radford

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Last updated 7.03.2018

Hayden Fritzlaff

Class of 2012
OCCUPATION Musician, Writer & Arts Worker
Lives Canberra, Australia
Attendance at radford Years 7-12
House Banksia
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What does life look for you now?

I live and work in Canby, though I travel around a lot. My typical week involves teaching, writing, and rehearsing most days and then heading out around the country on weekends to play music. I often work on short-term contracts with arts organisations, festivals, and in media, so what's normal for me can look very different from month to month. Last month I was editing a music magazine. This month I'm coordinating a pop-up art party. Next month I'm planning a tour and PR strategy for a band.

Tell us what you are passionate about?

As a general rule, I tend to only do things I'm passionate about. Or rather, I try to be passionate about everything I do. That mostly means lots of music, lots of writing about music and the arts, and putting on lots of events that I would want to go to. It also means keeping up with the people around me. My housemate works at a vet, so I'm pretty passionate about getting daily pup updates.

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

I distinctly remember telling everyone that I was going to be an engineer. I think I believed it at the time, but realistically I was always going to end up playing music and writing words and working with artists.

What is your favourite Radford moment?

No one moment in particular. My favourite moments were just talking to mates at lunch, or playing handball when we were too old to reasonably be doing so, or jamming in the music rooms and learning how to express ourselves.

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

The entire English Department. The whole Music staff. The Science teachers. Basically, all of the teachers. Looking back, I am in awe of nearly all of them and how they were able to not only deal with but inspire a bunch of rowdy teenagers on a daily basis. Special shout-outs to Geoff Piggot, Matt Irving, Joel Copeland, Louise Wallace-Richards, Sarah Walker, Carmen Hoy and Leanne McKeen.

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

Does anyone have a straight answer to this question? I haven't made a decision, and I don't have plans to any time soon, so I'm not sure I can really help out on this one.

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

100% definitely no it did not. I started out studying history, then I swapped to science and Enlgsh, then eventually to music. I was at one point going to be an engineer or a marine biochemist who was also a screenwriter. In the end my uni transcript had more degree transfers than classes (nearly). I studied experimental music and got a job running events with a local arts organisation. From there I worked for festivals, edited a music magazine, and now I'm writing and playing music full time. I can't say, looking back, that any of this was planned. I just stick to a mantra of taking any and all opportunities that pop up.

What do you know now, that you wish you'd known when you were at Radford?

I wish I had known how important it is to be kind to people. Or rather, how important your kindness can be to someone. When I was at school, there were people in the community that were ostracized for no real reason, and I wish that we had done better by them.
I also think it's important to remember, or discover, just how small Radford is, and just how small Canberra is.

What advice do you have for current students?

Ask questions of your teachers. If you don't feel up to sticking your hand up in class, talk to them afterward, or hassle them on their lunchbreak. Ask them about what you're studying, ask them about what they've studied, ask them about their fruitful and varied careers outside of teaching at your school.
Also, stand up for your peers. Reading this, I'm sure someone in your class springs to mind that is picked on or left out. Help them find their voice, or use your own to fight for them.

Anything else that you would like to share?

The school can be a welcoming, amazing place to be. It can also be a scary, isolating place. Be the change you want to see. Just keep in mind how fortunate you are to be a part of it, and always be sure to put yourself in situations where you are expanding your horizons beyond your schoolwork and the school itself.

Where are you now?