When did you graduate from Shearwater and what did you do after?
I graduated from Shearwater in 2005, and immediately left to travel to the UK where I worked for a year as a retail assistant in Brighton on the South East coast. I would recommend to anyone taking that time after you finish school to travel or work somewhere different – I think it really helped me mature and I certainly learnt a lot about surviving on my own, paying rent and living with other people! I also had the best year you can imagine as an 18 year old, being independent and making some fantastic friends. Once I arrived back in Australia (and actually worked at the school for a few months) I still had no idea what I wanted to do, but decided to head to university. I chose Charles Sturt Uni in Bathurst as I thought that the country university life would be brilliant – it was. Cue an amazing three years of studying, meeting lifelong friends and working with some lovely people. It kicked me out at the end with some great skills and I haven’t been without a job since.
How do you look back at your time here. What is a memory that stands out?
I loved my time at Shearwater. I learnt so much from all the amazing teachers at the school who took the time to get to know me and help me figure out along the way what I enjoyed. They encouraged and pushed me but never made me feel like I should someone different. I picked my year 11 and 12 subjects by the teachers who were taking them, and never regretted that for an instant. There are too many amazing memories to pick just one – maths class with Allan laughing the whole time, English with Catherine who made us think in different ways we couldn’t have even imagined, being a part of the incredible productions that were the Wearable Arts WAVE performances, lying around on the veranda between classes – just being a part of the living and breathing school where you felt welcome every day is something that I will never forget.
Are you still in touch with former class mates or teachers?
I try and stop by the school to say hi to everyone there when I come back up the coast to visit and it is like coming home. So much has changed but also so much hasn’t. I’m still in contact with several of my classmates, and Lia and I (far left in the 2003 photo) see each other almost every weekend as we both live close to each other in Sydney.
What is it that you are currently pursuing in your life?
I’m currently working with worldwide public relations firm Ogilvy in their 360 Digital Influence team. Throughout my degree at Charles Sturt I became increasingly interested in social media and how businesses are using it to interact with their customers and employees. Through being proactive in the area (on Twitter, LinkedIn, blogs and attending events in Sydney) I’ve suddenly found myself with a lot of knowledge and passion, and working with clients like Microsoft and Jetstar. I help clients talk to bloggers, I develop and manage their Facebook pages, I develop strategies and exciting competitions – my work is varied but I love it. Who knows where it will take me or where I’ll be in a years time, but Shearwater (and my parents) taught me that that knowing exactly what I want to do isn’t as important as enjoying the journey along the way.