What does life look for you now?
I'm currently based in Canberra where I work in international development. Prior to COVID my work used to take me to Papua New Guinea and the Pacific fairly regularly where have done lectures/talks at Universities, the UN, radio and news outlets.
In my spare time I do a bit of music, I play in a Columbian latin band, and sing a bit, and am on the board of MusicACT. I still love going to music festivals, and worked/volunteered at quite a few in the past including Falls Festival and Splendour in the Grass.
Tell us what you are passionate about?
I started my career in international development volunteering as a lecturer at the University of Papua New Guinea. Port Moresby is known as one of the most dangerous places in the world - but I loved being there. I'm passionate about the distribution of knowledge and wealth - I think that we are all better off when individuals can share cultures, experiences, knowledge and resources with each other.
When you were young, what were you hoping to be when you grew up?
I wanted to be an architect! - but then I went and did a holiday course at UC when I was in Year 11 or 12 and the undergrads there who took the course seemed to be a bit uninspired by it so I got jaded and took a totally different career path. I still like architecture though - it's a good reminder how important your own energy and passion is to those younger than you!
Do you have a particular role model or inspirational figure from Radford or now?
I'm sure there are a lot of people who talk about how great Mr H was - but he really did a lot to energize and inspire students, so I will start with him! I realise now too having had various jobs that being a teacher is actually one of the hardest! The teachers at Radford were just the best bit about it - Mr H, Mrs Pacey, Mr Craddock, Ms Wales, Mr Webster, Mr Shrek, Ms Chandler - they were my favourites! Ms Chandler opening maths class by laying on the floor and doing a seal impression is the highlight of my experience Radford.
How easy was it to decide what to do in life?
It is a constant churn and something I think almost everyone struggles with, now probably more than ever, because we have so many options! It is not easy to decide, you just have to go with your gut. We have many opportunities to fail and try something else, you will always learn something valuable along the way - so may as well aim high!
What do you know now, that you wish you'd known when you were at Radford?
Did you know that people can just make up their job titles, and that it is often very difficult to know what people actually do based on their job title - for example on shows like Q&A - they make job titles sound sexier than they sometimes are. "Futurist" is one for example that could mean a lot of different things and has been used to describe people whose day jobs are anything from bankers to professional speakers. Separately, a friend of mine has been on Q&A twice, she is a CEO, PhD, mid-30s and has done some truly amazing things - but you have to know, she is still living in a sharehouse (not that there is anything wrong with that) - but perhaps not what I would have expected of a "CEO" back in the day, and good to know when you are judging your own achievements. The world is not quite as it appears. People, careers and jobs are not always quite what people present them as. (I guess this is the career-equivalent of saying that how people present their lives on instagram is not how they may be in real life:) That is why it is always best to be driven by something more real, personal and concrete than just what you "think" may come with a particular job or career.
What advice do you have for current students?
Similar to the prior one, make sure you understand the difference between an interim goal and your purpose - always prioritise the second over the first. If you intend to go down the university route, recognise that achieving good marks is an interim goal, finishing Radford or finishing university is an interim goal, you need to be driven by something much more than getting good marks or going to a good university, because ultimately nobody cares whether you got good marks or not, people care if you 1. have an inspiring vision, 2. are competent and 3. can communicate it. It is not that marks are useless, but they are just not always the best measure of any of those three things!