Life beyond Radford

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Last updated 16.06.2021

Peta Mantel

Class of 1990
OCCUPATION Epidemiologist
Lives Canberra, Australia
Attendance at radford Years 7-12
House Jarrah
  • Bachelor Degree, University of Sydney, Science (Biochemistry and Microbiology)
  • Masters, University of Western Sydney, Applied Science (Environmental Health)
  • Masters, The University of Newcastle, Clinical Epidemiology with Merit
Work history
  • Army Officer
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What does life look for you now?

I am married to Isaac Seidl and we have two kids, William (14) and Olivia (12). I am a Lieutenant Colonel in the Army working as a health leader and clinical epidemiologist. We have had postings across five states in Australia as well as a posting to the USA where I did my advanced training. We are now settled back in Canberra and loving it. I am now a Radford parent and I must admit I do find it quite amusing having to sign the good old Radford diary every week! The school is a tad larger than when I left it 31 years ago.

Tell us what you are passionate about?

My area of interest lies in the early warning of emerging pathogens with pandemic potential. I have spent a large portion of my career in Defence looking at health threats to deployed forces and the outbreaks of diseases that pose a threat.

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

I always wanted to be a scientist which is what I have become! I have just changed fields a few times to keep myself entertained.

What is your favourite Radford moment?

I have fond memories of year 9 camp but that may not have been my answer had I been asked back then.

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

After my completing my undergrad Degree I wasn't quite sure what direction to take so I decided to do a Graduate year with the Department of Defence back in Canberra. I must admit that joining the Army wasn't a career that I thought I would pursue and my initial plan was to join for five years or so. That short term filler has now turned into 25 years of service!

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

After joining the Army and entering into the Royal Australian Army Medical Corps I went on to do a Masters in Applied Science (Environmental Health) and I worked as an Environmental Health Officer for the first part of my career. After two overseas deployments as an EHO and one as a Biological Weapons Inspector I decided to transfer to the general health stream as I wasn't sure what else I could do as an EHO. Not surprisingly, I decided shortly after to go back and do my Masters in Clinical Epidemiology which is the field I have now been working in for the last decade.

Where are you now?