Life beyond Radford

Mentor If you’d like me to be your mentor please contact Collegians to arrange a meeting.
Last updated 2.11.2018

Joel Anderson

Class of 2009
OCCUPATION Innovation Consultant
Lives CANBERRA, Australia
Attendance at radford Years 7-12
House Acacia
  • Bachelor Degree, The Australian National University, Mechanical & Renewable Systems Engineering, 2011-2015
Work history
  • Hardware Team Lead, Seeing Machines, 2014-2018
  • Collaborative Innovation Manager, CBR Innovation Network, 2018-Present
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What does life look for you now?

After graduating from ANU with a bachelor of Engineering with Honours I worked at Seeing Machines, a world leading technology company for 4 years. I am now the Collaborative Innovation Manager at the Canberra Innovation Network and an active member of the Canberra community who enjoys social basketball, snowboarding and hiking. I enjoy the freedom to travel overseas each year and recently returned from a 3,500km Tuk-Tuk race across India to raise money for charity.

Tell us what you are passionate about?

I am extremely passionate about creating positive change and giving back to the community. I currently work for the Canberra Innovation Network helping organisations solve complex problems through collaboration, founded a start-up that provides counselling services to rural Australians, volunteer as a junior basketball coach for the Canberra City Stallions, am the Fundraising Coordinator for the Make-A-Wish Foundation, a STEM volunteer mentor for national science week and am a mentor at Menslink a local organisation that provides crucial counselling & support services to young men in Canberra.

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

My first recorded career choice was to be an excavator driver thanks to an intriguing Tonka Truck sandpit toy, I then became obsessed with Lego and when I was about 7 decided I wanted to be an engineer. That desire never wavered and 15 years later I became one!

What is your favourite Radford moment?

Year 9 camp was the undisputed highlight of my 6 years at Radford College. I have continued to pursue my love of adventuring and hiking and I always look back on that 9 day wilderness experience as one of the best experiences. Despite the difficulty of the trip nothing was more important as a character building exercise over my time at Radford as the camp really forced you to push yourself mentally and physically. It was also an amazing opportunity to expand traditional friendship circles and see a different side of the teachers!

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

During my time at Radford Father Richard Browning was a massive inspiration, the level of passion and enthusiasm he had for everything in life was incredible. 9 years after graduating I have still not met anyone who matches his energy, he was also a great rugby coach!

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

I was lucky that I have known I always wanted to be an engineer, in some respects that made a lot of choices very easy. One of the harder challenges is to find a sense of identity outside of work and discover something you are passionate about to help you grows as a person rather than just as a professional.

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

I took a gap year after graduating from Radford and travelling Europe and Asia with a group of my best mates. I then went to ANU to study Engineering before getting an internship at a small local engineering firm. In this role I got to travel the world and work on some of the most up and coming technology imaginable. This part was definitely not something I expected as my traditional view of an engineer was building bridges, cars or buildings. Definitely no regrets with any decision I made along the way, everything is about learning whether it was a good or a bad experience.

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

I wish I knew that while it is important to choose courses that are reflective of what you want to study at uni, it is not the end of the world if you don’t. You are way more likely to get a better ATAR studying courses that you thoroughly enjoy rather than ones you feel forced to do.

What advice do you have for current students?

Pursue something that makes you happy, not what makes someone else happy. A big part of growing up is discovering and learning from other cultures and ways of living. Travel as much as you can and where possible avoid the traditional tourist hot spots and experience the real country.

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