Alumni Career Snapshot – Kathleen Lawson

Today we’d like to introduce you to Dr. Kathleen Lawson, one of our Killester graduates. Kathleen’s Job Title is currently ‘Music Therapist, Chiropractor, Consultant – Functional Neurological Rehabilitation’. Dr. Lawson was very involved in music during her time at Killester, but she has only pursued this side of her life more recently. She now loves exploring music from a Health and Wellness perspective. Here’s what she had to say about her career path. 

What subjects did you study in Year 12?

English, Biology, Maths, Chemistry, Economics, RE

What are some of the roles you have held in your career?

Travel Consultant, Nurse, Mother, Chiropractor, Business Owner, Lecturer, Music Therapist

What path did you take to get to where you are now?

A very convoluted one! Five different universities, several jobs, some travel, balancing a family as a sole parent, and lots of personal growth work.

Who inspired you to get where you are?

I’ve had many mentors – teachers, business people, friends, etc…but I think one of the biggest drivers was having two small children and knowing that I wanted them to have opportunities that would only happen if I made something for them to springboard from.

What do you love most about what you do?

The variety!  No day is the same, I’ve had some amazing opportunities as a result of the things that I’ve become involved in – some spectacular failures in there too – and plenty of learning!

What are you most proud of in your career?

That I’m still learning and can try new things, and that my life now is a reflection of my choices.

What has been the most challenging thing about your career?

Finding a way to keep all the balls juggling – there’s no such thing as balance, but a constant ebb and flow of demands on my time and energy.  Some days keeping up is more challenging than others, and I did get caught in burnout a while ago – that wasn’t great…

What have been some career highlights?

Special moments of connection with people who entrust me with aspects of their care, building and then selling a successful business, being brave enough to make big changes, a few awards along the way… So many things!

Do you have anything special that you remember about your time at Killester College?

To be honest, I was a bit of a nerd… but the music program was where I found my fun.  High School wasn’t an easy time for me so I really just concentrated on my studies. I didn’t get to where I expected to at the end of HSC (VCE) despite my best efforts, but it turns out that wasn’t the end of the world at all, and in fact, it was probably the making of me in many ways.

Do you have any words of wisdom/advice for our Killester Girls?

I realise now that there was a kind of family motto that guided how I approached things. My mum would often say “God helps those who help themselves…” which I suppose meant that we each had a responsibility to use our skills and talents to make the best of things and that in doing so, opportunities, resources and the right people would somehow present themselves.  

I’m impatient by nature, so I often couldn’t see the truth in the motto because it never seemed to happen quickly enough for me. But I think it’s really true – do the best with what you’ve got, just get on with it, and trust that what you need will eventually be there and support your journey towards where you’re meant to be.  

But it’s not enough to just set your mind and decide – you actually have to get up and DO something to help life meet you. There’s so much power in just taking that first active step.  Asking for and accepting help are also easier if you’re already being pro-active because other people are then collaborating with you for your success and it becomes a win-win.

Life may not always go the way you expect it to, but there is always something in there of value.  The trick is to find the gem in the rock and then polish it up so your strengths shine through.