Life beyond Radford

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Last updated 29.04.2020

Jessie Robinson

Class of 2010
OCCUPATION Parliamentary and Coordination Officer
Lives Armidale, Australia
Attendance at radford Years 7-12
House Boronia
  • Bachelor Degree, The Australian National University, Commerce, 2011-2014
  • Graduate Certificate, University of Southern Queensland, Science, 2018-Present
Work history
  • Electorate Officer, NSW Parliament, 2011-2012
  • Electorate Officer, Parliament of Australia, 2012-2013
  • Personnel Capability Officer, Royal Australian Air Force, 2014-2019
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What does life look for you now?

I’ve recently moved to Armidale, NSW, with my partner Johnathon, to start a new career as a parliamentary and coordination officer, while he’s starting a new career as a high school teacher!

We’ve just left Newcastle, NSW, after two years, and yes sadly left the beach! I’ve just discharged from the Air Force after almost six years as the equivalent of a human resources manager. It was a pretty full on role; I’ve managed small teams of staff, and was relied on to provide a variety of policy advise to my chain of command, I supported personnel through crisis and deployed to the Middle East.

I’m pretty passionate about politics and I’m political active within the scope my career will allow. I love to cook and I’m a bit of a yoga fan. In the last few years I’ve developed a taste for travel to less visited places; I’ve recently returned from a holiday to Central Asia and work sent me to Arizona and Utah last year! I’m currently studying a post-graduate science degree though I’m not really sure what I’ll do with that.

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

I always wanted to be an engineer! But alas...

I’ve been a political staffer, the equivalent of a civilian human resources manager in the military and now I’m back working as a parliamentary and coordination officer.

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

It’s not easy! But it doesn’t matter, the greatest thing about going to Radford is that you have a great foundational education. I’m still not sure what I want to do or be but thankfully I have the freedom and opportunity to change, and I’d put that down to my education (plus living in robust democracy).

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

Nothing ever goes to plan. In year 11 and 12 I chose subjects with the intent of studying engineering at university. First year uni I studied economics and a bit of politics but I ended up graduating with a commerce degree majoring in marketing (and taking an extra 12 months to finish). I’m now studying a post-graduate science degree majoring in biology and I’m not sure where that will take me.

As far a career plan, there is none! At school I wanted to be an engineer, then decided I’d become an economist. I’ve worked as a political staffer for both state and federal politicians, I’ve been an officer in the Air Force and now I’m working as a parliamentary and coordination officer. Since leaving school I’ve lived in Darwin, Sale, Brisbane, Newcastle and now Armidale, and I did a six month deployment to the Middle East! Not having a plan has worked out pretty well for me!

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

I wish I’d understood how important a good education is. Whilst I think I made the most of my schooling, it’s not until you hit the adult world you truely understand how many opportunities are created from being educated.

What advice do you have for current students?

Make the most of your education, always chase the challenge and when you get the chance find a way to give back for the opportunities you’ve been given.

I’d also say have opinions and be informed. It doesn’t matter where you sit on the political spectrum but know why you sit there. Be prepared to defend what you believe but also be tolerant of the views of others.

Where are you now?