Life after Radford with Jessie Robinson (Class of 2010)

Posted 30 Apr, 2020

Jessie wanted to be an Engineer when she was studying at Radford. 10 years on and her journey was not what she had planned...it is better!

When asked if it was easy to decide what she wanted to do in life, Jessie said that her journey was not what she had thought or had planned, she added that she was determined to go university and study Engineering, however in Years 11 and 12 her interest in Politics changed her career direction.

Jessie commenced her university studies in Economics, changed to Politics then to Marketing. Jessie ended up completing a Commerce degree at the Australian National University through an undergraduate scheme offered by the Australian Defence Force. This scheme allows cadets to study whilst being sponsored at a civilian university. Cadets then engage in initial military training on completion of their degree. Jessie said that it provided an alternative option to the Australian Defence Force Academy for military entry as an officer.

The Defence Force offered Jessie wonderful opportunities she never had thought possible. Jessie’s career in the Air Force has taken her to the Middle East where she led an Administration Team supporting the Australian National Headquarters. Jessie added that that this was an incredible experience, she also recalled training and meeting fellow collegians – Elizabeth White who was deployed as a civilian public servant and Sally Faulks a Doctor in the Air Force.

Jessie was also proud to share that she was the first personnel capability officer (Military Human Resources Manager) to be part of a Royal Australian Air Force F-35A Joint Strike Fighter squadron, being part of the team to bring back the first F-35A fighter jets from the United States to Australia, noting that this was a career highlight for her.

Whilst at Radford, Jessie recalls the celebration of Foundation Day being her favourite Radford moments. When Jessie was in Year 8 or 9, a Collegian was invited to speak and share their Life after Radford experience. Jessie laughed whilst recounting this story to me, this Collegian decided to share that whilst they were at school, they set up a business with the groundsmen. The groundsmen would collect all the tennis balls from the roof of the school, then this Collegian would sell the tennis balls to the students and give a percentage of the sales to the groundsmen.

Throughout Jessie’s life, it is her parents that have been her inspiration. Her mum, Karen Robinson is the Canteen Manager at Radford. Jessie mentioned that her parents’ education went to Year 10 and that they are the hardest working people she knows. Jessie’s mum is a hairdresser by trade and shared this advice with her “be a hairdresser but be an educated one”. Jessie is very grateful to both her parents for providing her with the opportunity to attend Radford adding that at the time she really wishes she appreciated what a good education meant, “the foundational years and the holistic learning approach that Radford offers really does give you a great start in life”, she said.

After almost six years, Jessie discharged from the Air Force, she is currently taking the year to focus on herself. Jessie enjoys baking, which she is doing a whole lot more of now thanks to “iso life” and travelling to destinations that are not widely travelled to is a passion of hers.

Jessie’s advice to current students is – ensure you are educated, have an opinion but be tolerant of others, be informed and have faith in your own convictions.

Photos have been provided by Jessie Robinson and consent to publish has been granted. 

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