Kew High School Alumni Development
Elise Dunstan There is no shortage of former Kew High School students (alumni) eager to engage with the Ourschool alumni program. They are curious to know what has changed on-campus, who the new Principal is and whether Kew High School is still as they remember it. Whether it’s taking part in an online or in-person session, alumni feel uplifted by reconnecting with their old school, and staff feel it too. For students, there are opportunities to learn first hand a range of aspects relating to careers and the world of work: the many different pathways that can be pursued after school; how exchange, travel and internships can assist with employability; which jobs are in ‘growth’ industries; and the skills and attributes that are important to develop. Recently, alumna Gloria Karaiskos (Class of 2001) shared her story as part of the Ourschool Industry Insights session: loving mathematics and science at Kew High; studying chemical engineering at university; working for an global mining company as a process engineer, then for one of the Big Four professional service firms; and to currently being a Director at the Carbon Market Institute. Gloria also discussed the new jobs emerging as a result of climate change and explained the variety in her work. She talked fondly of her school days, and is willing to help students understand and seize opportunities ‘out there’. There are hundreds like Gloria who want to equip the students with knowledge and self-belief – to aspire and strive. There is also a growing number of alumni who have put up their hand to host a year 10 work experience student. The more nuanced messages students are getting, from alumni being more present in their educational experience, is a sense of pride and a feeling of being part of something bigger – a sense of belonging and support which cannot be underestimated in terms of personal wellbeing and link to educational outcomes.