Life beyond Radford

Mentor If you’d like me to be your mentor please contact Collegians to arrange a meeting.
Last updated 10.01.2021

Kimberley Wilson ( Chia )

Class of 2007
OCCUPATION Principal Environmental Scientist
Lives Canberra, Australia
Attendance at radford Years 11-12
House Jarrah
  • Bachelor Degree, The Australian National University, Geology, 2008-2010
  • Masters, The University of Queensland, Natural Resource Management, 2014-2018
Work history
  • Geologist, Independent Contractor, 2011-2012
  • Project Environmental Scientist / Asbestos Assessor, Robson Environmental, 2012-2015
  • Senior Environmental Officer, ActewAGL, 2015-2020
  • Principal Environmental Scientist, AECOM, 2020-Present
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What does life look for you now?

My life now can be chaotic and overwhelming but I wouldn't have it any other way. I work as a Principal Environmental Scientist (in geoscience and remediation) for a Tier 1 global consulting firm. I lead a team of graduate, junior and senior scientists, and manage several projects of varying scale and complexity. The role is demanding, personally and professionally, however I'm grateful to be able to balance this with activities that I enjoy like swimming, walking, reading, and spending time with my family. My husband and I welcomed our first child in 2019 which has been an adventure in itself.

Tell us what you are passionate about?

I am passionate about my family, our health and happiness. I am also passionate about protecting and rehabilitating the environment through my work, and giving any project a go even if it seems intimidating at first.

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

At various stages throughout my young life I wanted to be an Olympic swimmer, a veterinarian, a marine biologist, and a geologist (which I eventually became!)

What is your favourite Radford moment?

Swimming carnivals were always my favourite day/s of the year. I also have great memories of enjoying lunchtimes with friends and making long-lasting friendships that are still strong today.

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

Following my interests as they changed, and the opportunities that aligned with those interests, has made career decisions relatively easy. I knew from a young age that I wanted to be a scientist and a love of pretty rocks naturally led me towards studying geology. Mr Boyce's geology classes were my favourite. I studied geology at university but didn't enjoy the experience and wondered if it had been a mistake. My first career job utilised my education in geology but leaned towards environmental assessment and remediation. From there, I developed a passion for environmental management, undertook postgraduate study whilst working, and followed the opportunities. I've never looked back.

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

Not exactly. I struggled through my undergraduate degree and chose not to fulfil my honours year. This was deeply disappointing for me as I pride myself on giving everything a go and doing it to the best of my ability. Feeling this way made completing my Masters degree with high distinction that much more rewarding.

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

You get out what you put in; hard work does pay off. Respect and take care of yourself; live a healthy and balanced life. There is still so much to learn, especially about yourself.

What advice do you have for current students?

Everything I've listed above.

Also: There are so many definitions of, and pathways to, "success". Think about what "success" means to YOU. It will change constantly and it may not align with what you expected it to look like, or what others think your success should be.

It is very easy to feel like you don't have / haven't done enough. Every now and then, take the time to look back and reflect on your accomplishments, however small. These give you perspective and help you to move forward when you feel stuck.

Mistakes are inevitable, learn from them but don't let them beat you.

Where are you now?