Life after Radford with Karen Shaw (nee, Tarlinton Class of 1988)
Karen Shaw was in the first cohort of students to graduate from the College, in 1988. Karen’s advice to current students is: don’t close yourself off to opportunity; she has seen first-hand what might seem like bad luck at the time but with a bit of optimism and innovation, can create something really special.
Karen Shaw was in the first cohort of students to graduate from the College, in 1988. The group started in Year 8 in 1984, with only two classes (8RB and 8JC).
For the past 26 years, Karen has been happily married and is the proud mum of two boys aged 23 and 20. The family still lives on the family farm, where she recalls some student parties being held (under parent supervision…of course).
Karen has been the Business Development Manager at Shaw Wines for the past two years, a role she thoroughly enjoys. And no, there is no relation: “the surname is just a funny coincidence. The relationship between myself and Shaw Wines started about six years ago when I conducted wine tours around the Canberra Wine region”, Karen shares. The team was delighted when Shaw Wines entered the Canberra Region Tourism Awards for the first time in 2019 — and won! The win saw the team head to the National Tourism Awards, where it gave Karen the opportunity to have an impromptu Radford Reunion with Duncan Littler (Class of 1996) from Bundaberg Rum.
On 2020, Karen says it has been a challenging year for the Canberra wine industry, with the smoke from the bushfires affecting all of the vineyards at Shaw. “The Canberra Wine region is a strong community and whilst our year didn’t start positively, we are thankful to be supported by many wonderful people within the region such as close winery neighbour, Sarah Collingwood (Class of 1997) of Four Winds Vineyard; we have all supported each other”. Shaw Wines owner, Graeme Shaw is someone who inspires Karen “Graeme is positive and always finds opportunity” she said.
Karen remains quite nostalgic about the good old days at Radford, sharing that the teachers and friends made the days go quickly but the memories long-lasting.
The infamous “free” period took on new meaning: footy and wrestling on the lawn, and when that became tedious, hacky-sack took over and then frisbee throwing out in the back common room. Karen mentioned the antics of fellow collegians, Tony Speldewinde, Scott Underwood and Peter Landos and their rendition of George Michael’s song “Faith” in the common room. There was also mention of a Saturday morning detention (not related to the singing in the common room).
Karen’s advice to current students is: don’t close yourself off to opportunity; she has seen first-hand what might seem like bad luck at the time but with a bit of optimism and innovation, can create something really special.
Thank you Karen for sharing your Life after Radford Journey with us!
Class Photo is of Year12MHa (Karen is sitting in the first row, fourth student in the line).
Like to share your Life after Radford story with us, please contact us via email