Life After Radford – panel event for year 12 students

Posted 25 Sep, 2017

The Collegians’ Association hosted the Life after Radford event for year 12 students on 7 September. This is a panel event designed to give year 12 students an insight into the different pathways and experiences people have after leaving Radford, both in the year after and to where they are now.

The panellists fielded questions such as “What was most challenging about the first year after Radford?”, “What did you do if you did not get the ATAR you wanted?” and “Are you still friends with those you went to school with?”

The students reported that the speakers were energetic, captivating and insightful. They said the talks were humorous and thoroughly enjoyable to listen to. Matthew Dragh (the Collegian Captain) told us that “many found comfort through the words of the speakers around the daunting and unnerving task of our future lives”.

David Heness was quite the hero discussing vegemite fights in the common room and his exploits during his GAP year in the UK, having inside information on the latest Neighbours episodes.

Six collegians volunteered to speak at the event this year. Here is a small part of each of their stories.

Louise Gilding (Class 1989), Executive Director ACT Housing and Homelessness Services. “Knowing how I was wired and what I liked doing made it easier to decide what to do after college. I had trusted people who shared insights with me about my gifts and talents. Knowing this made it easier to figure out my path (and all the options therein). Life is an adventure and a journey…..and you can try stuff and change your mind along the way”


David Heness (Class 1988), Medically retired Teacher.  “Due to the permanent effects of this serious workplace accident, I have had to medically retire from my Teaching Career of about 18 years after multiple failed attempts to return to work. I am currently undertaking a rehabilitation and future injury management program. However, I am now in a position to consider other options that previously I never would have”.

Andrew Woodman (Class of 1998), Secondary School Teacher turned Lawyer. “ I love singing, playing the guitar, football (soccer), running, the opportunity to be a leader for others, challenging myself physically and mentally, self improvement. Social justice is particularly important to me and I am currently exploring some opportunities to do volunteer advocacy work abroad”.


Karina Harding (Class of 1999), Veterinarian. “I wanted to be a veterinarian since I was 5 or 6 years old. The road to achieving this dream was a little indirect but very interesting as I followed a series of opportunities and open doors. And now I am a vet, I find that I am still finding plenty of challenges, opportunities and open doors – both professionally and personally”.


Andrew Snell (Class of 2004), Entrepreneur. “I’m on my third ‘career’, but it’s all built up to now. I keep telling myself I’ll settle eventually, but it’s becoming less likely, rather than more likely. At least for now”.

Christina Refshauge (Class of 2003), Teacher (working with highly complex students that have developmental trauma in their lives). “School didn’t really work with me. There are many aspects of Radford that I did enjoy, but I felt misunderstood. I went on a self-made gap year, working in a school in Chile”.

Related Collegians

Louise Gilding


Andrew Woodman


Andrew Snell


Where are you now?