Alumni Career Snapshot – Lillian Rizkalla

This week we will be profiling Lillian Rizkalla who graduated in 1993. Lillian is a Lawyer who went on to become a Partner at a leading Law Firm.

What year did you graduate from Killester College?

1993

What subjects did you study in Year 12?

PE, Chemistry, Biology, English, Maths

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

Lawyer, Senior Associate, Partner

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

I went the Traditional route through University. I first studied Science/Law and then swapped Science for Arts. I completed my articles in a small firm before joining my current firm.

Who inspired you to get where you are?

My parents and my teachers.

What do you love most about what you do?

Working with my team.

What are you most proud of in your career?

Mentoring junior lawyers and seeing them grow into great lawyers. I’m also proud of being made a Partner while having young kids.

What has been the most challenging thing about your career?

Finding the right work-life balance – it really takes practice.

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

Young and fun teachers (for the most part), a great group of girls, and being part of a sisterhood.

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

Aim high, work hard and do what you love.

Alumni Career Snapshot – Rahni Samason

Meet Rahni Samason one of our 2015 graduates. Here’s some advice she had for our Killester girls, and what she had to say about being a professional netball player.

What year did you graduate from Killester College?

2015

What subjects did you study in Year 12?

  • English
  • Further Maths
  • Biology
  • Drama
  • Physical Education

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

Completed a double degree (Bachelor of Science/Bachelor of Arts).

My sporting career does not involve academia.

Who inspired you to get where you are?

My parents.

What do you love most about what you do?

It is fun and keeps me fit and healthy.

What are you most proud of in your career?

Never giving up.

What has been the most challenging thing about your career?

Big injuries, not getting selected for teams, and trying to balance sport and life (part-time work and school).

What have been some career highlights?

  • DUANL MVP 2018
  • Victorian Fury MVP 2018
  • Melbourne Vixen Debut 2021 Rd 5
  • Player of the Match Rd 5 2021

When you played your debut game in May, what are some of the thoughts that went through your mind when the Vixens won?

The overwhelming feelings were joy and exhaustion. I was so happy to be part of that win and celebrate with my teammates, but I was most proud of finally getting an opportunity to showcase that I can play at that level.

What are some of the next steps you plan on taking in your netball career?

Get a full contract with a team in the SSN next year (fingers crossed Vixens!!). Keep playing and improving and hopefully play for the Australian Diamonds

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

Everything was special! My teachers and friends were always so supportive of both my academic and sporting goals and would not hesitate to help me in any way. That sense of community/family is something that I will always cherish.

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

Put yourself out there. It can be confronting wanting to try hard or start something new but my best advice is to be afraid and do it anyway! Success only comes with effort.

 

Meet our 2021 Student Leaders – Sustainability and Environment

Meet our Year 12 Sustainability and Environment Student Leader for 2021 – Aubree Yalung, otherwise known as Missy.

If you had to name one positive thing/moment you’ll remember about your time at Killester what would it be?

A recent and dear memory I remember about my time at Killester was during my Year 12 Retreat. On Trivia Night, our year level gathered into groups and tried earning as many points by answering the most questions correctly. Everyone was singing along, smiling and laughing, and you could just feel all of the excitement and joy. It made me realise how close the cohort actually is and it was a great moment to just forget about all the stresses ahead in Year 12.

We all have a favourite book, what’s yours and what do you love about it?

My fellow peers will shake their heads if they ever read this, but my favourite book would have to be Jane Austen’s “Pride and Prejudice”. We had to study it for Year 11 English, and I absolutely adored that book. Misconceptions and enemies to lovers? I’m all for it. Another favourite book of mine is called “The Three-Body Problem” by Liu Cixin. It was originally in Chinese but I listened to the translated English audiobook. It’s brain-numbing in the best ways possible and just absolutely genius. There’s a ton of physics jargon in it too, so I just nod along when I hear them and pretend I know what they’re talking about.

The show ‘Friends’ is noted as one of the most binge-watched program of all time. Do you have a TV series you love? 

Bringing my love for “Pride and Prejudice” back; my favourite series has to be the 1995 BBC mini-series of the said book. Most people tell me that Mr Darcy isn’t as handsome as they expected, but I think Colin Firth is endearing in the role. My favourite episode would have to be the third, purely because it contains the first proposal scene. I have the entire dialogue memorised, that’s how obsessed I am. I’m also a child at heart so another series I enjoy watching is an animated one called “Miraculous: Tales Of Ladybug & Cat Noir”. I can write a whole essay about why I love that show and it’s impossible for me to choose a favourite episode, so I think I’ll end it here for now.

Most people can’t stand doing the dishes, what’s your least favourite chore?

Mowing the lawn! It’s my least favourite chore. I don’t have to do it as often as washing the dishes for obvious reasons, but I try to avoid it as much as possible.

What is your favourite subject and why?

As of writing, I think I’m enjoying my subjects equally. They all have their pros and cons. If I really did have to choose one though, I’m leaning a little more towards art. The freedom for creativity really appeals to me and I use drawing as a stress reliever, so the practical aspect is a win-win situation for me to some extent. It’s a fun subject overall.

If you could meet any current or historic figure who would you meet and why?

I think I would have liked to meet Margaret Hamilton. Her work as a computer scientist, and code which helped to land men on the moon is just so inspiring. Especially as a woman working in that field during that time, it’s a major accomplishment that I look up to.

A lot of people look up to their parents, do you have someone you look up to (it doesn’t have to be someone you know)?

While I do look up to my family, the immediate person that came into my mind was Elon Musk. I love that his ideas are beyond himself, and benefit everyone and our planet and beyond. His determination and hard work to make his dreams a reality is admirable. He’s truly an inspiration to never give up even when people don’t believe in your ideas.

If you could send a message back in time to yourself at the start of Year 7, what would you say?

If I could send a message to myself in Year 7, I would tell them to take as many opportunities given to them as possible. It’s a great way to really engage with the Killester community, and an even better way to create friends.

What is the thing you love the most about Killester College?

As stated previously, Killester offers so many opportunities for us young women, and at least one caters to our interests. Not only this, but the community is incredibly hospitable and approachable.

Do you have any idea what career you’d like to pursue? If so – how do you plan to pursue this career?

This is something I’ve thought about a lot, especially being in my final high school year. I’ve gone through many phases of what jobs I’d love to do, from an ambitious astronaut to a 3D animator working for Disney. Name a course and I’ve probably thought about pursuing it. As of now, I would love to be a web developer, coding and designing websites. It would also be a dream of mine to be able to draw webcomics alongside that. It’s a little early to say how I would pursue the former— I’ll wait for the ATAR and see, but as for the latter, I’ll begin by thinking of a story to draw.

What has Killester taught you about the meaning of life?

To be and to act more. Life is about giving as much as it is about receiving, and paying it forward. Actions, no matter how small, have an impact on our lives. Another lesson that I’ve learned from my time in Killester is to just go for it and give it a chance! Do it or you might regret it.

Do you have any advice/words of wisdom for the Killester girls?

Don’t be so harsh on yourself! As long as you did your best and put in the effort, then that’s all that matters.

Is there anything else you would like to tell the Killester community?

Smile and be kind to one another!

Meet our 2021 Student Leaders – Community Service

Meet Beatrice Emilie, our Year 12 Community Service Leader. 

We all have a favourite book, what’s yours and what do you love about it?

My favourite book is ‘Looking For Alaska’ as it is very educational and intellectual. It brings up modern-day issues and ideas that are sensitive and seldom talked about in real life. As I read, I was intrigued by the author’s use of literary techniques. I have a tendency to analyse and look for concealed implications or symbolism which link to the philosophical undertones or messages in novels.

Do you have a TV series you love? Why do you love it? 

‘Ginny and Georgia’ is my favourite TV series because it is a humorous show which also combines aspects of drama and tragedy from the characters’ past which keeps it interesting. I also love how it intertwines the romance and freedom of the teenage characters like Ginny and Marcus, which is not at all cliche or fairytale-like, to make it a show for young people.

Most people can’t stand doing the dishes, what’s your least favourite chore?

Vacuuming

What is your favourite subject and why?

My favourite subject is Biology because I find it fascinating to understand how species have evolved and adapted, as well as how the human body operates. It is a subject that is applicable to reality and helps us understand why our body looks or works the way it does.

If you could meet any current or historic figure who would you meet and why?

I would meet Alexander Hamilton to ask for his study tips and question his motivations and determination. After watching the musical ‘Hamilton’ about 3 times, I admire his logic and mindset. He significantly changed the way the US operated and had a real passion for rights and freedom which is something that I value tremendously.

A lot of people look up to their parents, do you have someone you look up to?

My mum is a strong, really smart and well-respected woman. I don’t have the same military-style discipline that she has but I am working on it so that I can become as successful as she is.

If you could send a message back in time to yourself at the start of Year 7, what would you say?

Everything you do now will show up in the future. Stop procrastinating!

What is the thing you love the most about Killester College?

I love how our school has a passion for equal rights and justice. As we are in the 21st Century and society is still an unjust and unsafe place, it is important that we enforce fairness, equality and equity so that it can become a safer and fairer place for everyone.

Do you have any idea what career you’d like to pursue? If so – how do you plan to pursue this career?

My ideal career would be in the medical field but I am currently interested in other fields as well. Essentially, I am going to study and maintain a balanced lifestyle so that I can reach my highest potential and I will take as many opportunities as I can get!

What has Killester taught you about the meaning of life?

Biologically, organisms have adapted and evolved into a better version of themselves so that they can live and help the species around them. If I can connect that into a religious sense, each individual has room for improvement so that they can help their community become a better place in whichever way they can.

If you had to name one positive thing/moment you’ll remember about your time at Killester what would it be?

The connections I have made with my friends and teachers

Do you have any advice/words of wisdom for the Killester girls?

Question everything.

Meet our 2021 Student Leaders – Sports

It’s time for our second Student Leader interview. Meet Charlene Nheu, our Year 12 Sports Leader for 2021.

We all have a favourite book, what’s yours and what do you love about it?

I love ‘Where the Crawdad’s Sing’ by Delia Owens as it addresses prejudicial issues, as well as being a mystery and coming of age novel. I remember reading forever and ever because it was just so intriguing and different.

The show ‘Friends’ is noted as one of the most binge-watched program of all time, do you have a TV series you love? Why do you love it? Do you have a favourite episode?

My current favourite TV series is Brooklyn Nine-Nine. I’ve been watching season 7 and I love it because of the character dynamics, everyone is so different and together it just makes the show really funny and interesting. My favourite episodes are the annual Halloween heists they all take part in!

Most people can’t stand doing the dishes, what’s your least favourite chore?

I don’t like doing the laundry, specifically having to hang out the washing.

What is your favourite subject and why?

My favourite subject is Sport and Recreation because it’s not as content-heavy as my other subjects which gives me a break and I get to play sports, get some exercise which I love and is super fun! 100% would recommend the subject!

If you could meet any current or historical figure who would you meet and why?

I would love to meet Michelle Obama because she’s such an empowering figure for women. All the work she’s done is truly inspirational and I feel like she’ll give the best advice, which I currently need.

A lot of people look up to their parents, do you have someone you look up to (it doesn’t have to be someone you know)?

I look up to my grandparents because they’ve faced so many difficulties just to get to where they are and despite all of it they’ve managed to stay positive and continue to live everyday with a smile. They also never fail to provide me with lots of insight and advice.

If you could send a message back in time to yourself at the start of Year 7, what would you say?

You’ll have an awesome time! Don’t stress too much yet, and don’t stress about what other people think about you! You’re on the right path and remember that everyone goes at a different pace, so don’t rush yourself.

What is the thing you love the most about Killester College?

I love the diversity of the people. It’s such a multicultural school and it’s amazing to see everyone together especially at school events. Having a diverse community enables us to learn about various beliefs and values that are different to our own which is always interesting.

Do you have any idea what career you’d like to pursue? If so – how do you plan to pursue this career?

I would love to get a career in law or become a social worker. Hopefully everything will go well and I am able to enrol in the courses I’m interested in, but who knows, we’ll just have to see.

What has Killester taught you about the meaning of life?

Killester has taught me that everyone has their own role and purpose in this world and that it’s important to do things that you love. There’s a life beyond just school (even though it may not feel like that sometimes) so get out and explore new things, challenge yourself because that’s the only way you’ll grow and know what you enjoy.

If you had to name one positive thing/moment you’ll remember about your time at Killester what would it be?

Hard to name just one thing but definitely all of the sports carnivals and camps we’ve had especially Canberra. It was so nice to get out with friends and stay up talking for hours at night. It’ll be weird not seeing the same faces every day.

Do you have any advice/words of wisdom for the Killester girls?

Even though every school day may feel like it goes on forever, in reality, it’ll go really fast. It’s 100% okay to have days where you don’t feel great and have no motivation to do anything. After all you do need a break, just take some time and get right back to it. Head into every new experience/or challenge with a positive mindset and remember to stay optimistic!

Meet the Killester Team – Ms. Miha

This week we’d like to introduce you to our wonderfully talented and creative Fashion, Textiles and Art teacher Ms. Miha. Ms. Miha has been teaching at Killester for the past 30 years and is a passionate and devoted teacher. Her love for Killester started when she was in fact a student at the College. Ever since she was young she has wanted to be a Teacher, and then a Fashion Designer. So she combined her two loves and is now teaching Fashion Design to our VET students. Here’s our full interview with Ms. Miha:

We all have a favourite book that we come back to time and time again, what’s yours and what do you love about it?

The Secret Garden- I love it because it is about a garden and the imagery is amazing. I love that it is a garden that brings healing and hope.

What was your favourite subject at school and why?

I really liked Humanities because it was about the world we live in.

When you were growing up, what did you want to be?

A Teacher, then a Fashion Designer.

What was your first paying job?

Woolworths Springvale

What career path did you follow to get to where you are today? Feel free to include what you studied.

This is a hard question to answer- but basically I have always loved drawing and writing. So I completed a fashion design course and worked in a library for a few years, then completed my Teaching degree. The rest is history!

What was your worst job and what did you learn from it?

My worst job was working on a production line in a cardboard box factory. It was boring but dangerous!

What’s the best concert you’ve been to?

Paul Mc Cartney and Wings

What would your ‘spirit-animal’ be and why?

A ‘She Wolf’ because she is loyal, protective and fierce.

Do you have any hidden talents or hobbies?

I love to write poetry!

Which historical figure would you like to meet and why?

Coco Chanel and Claude Monet

What are the three items you would take with you on a desert island?

Pencil, paper and book the ‘History of Art’.

Have you met anyone famous?

Jean Paul Gaultier

How long have you worked at Killester?

30 years

What is your favourite part of your job?

I love being creative and I feel working at Killester has enabled my creativity to grow.

What motivates you at work?

I love my job and every aspect of what I do, I want to be organised and prepared for my classes. I want to be the best teacher I can be.

What is your favourite thing about Killester?

The students of course! They are kind, considerate and caring!

If you had advice/words of wisdom for our girls what would it be?

Be true to yourself, love and respect your family, be kind to yourself and follow your passions but be open to other skills because you never know you might grow a passion!

Is there anything else you would like to tell the Killester community?

Be proud of who you are, always think positive thoughts – because your thoughts become your words and therefore your actions.

Meet Our 2021 Student Leaders – Student Council

We all have a favourite book, what’s yours and what do you love about it?

Pride and Prejudice – I learn something new every time I read it.

Most people can’t stand doing the dishes, what’s your least favourite chore?

Unloading the dishwasher!

What is your favourite subject and why?

Visual Communication and Design is my favourite subject.

If you could meet any current or historic figure who would you meet and why?

I would meet Isaac Newton to try and understand how he saw the world. It fascinates me to think about how he looked at the world from a whole new perspective and was able to define the way EVERYTHING moves.

A lot of people look up to their parents, do you have someone you look up to?

I look up to a few people in my life. Both my parents and my older brother. They have achieved so much in life and inspire me to always try my best.

If you could send a message back in time to yourself at the start of Year 7, what would you say?

Focus.

What is the thing you love the most about Killester College?

There is positive energy in the school and among students and teachers. Everyone encourages you to be the ‘best you’ and the student voice is heard fairly. 

Do you have any idea what career you’d like to pursue? If so – how do you plan to pursue this career?

I would like to become an Architect or Civil Engineer in the future. I am currently studying the subjects that will help me achieve this goal. I have also called up architecture firms to ask if they offer work experience which I will be attending in the holidays.

What has Killester taught you about the meaning of life?

I moved to Killester in Year 9 which was a little bit scary going to an all-girls school as a teenager but I felt so welcomed. I learnt how being kind and hospitable doesn’t take much effort, but can have a huge impact.

Do you have any advice/words of wisdom for the Killester girls?

You should get involved in the Killester community as much as you can to make the most out of school.

Is there anything else you would like to tell the Killester community?

Killester feels like home.

 

Alumni Career Snapshot – Laura Deegan

Meet Dr. Laura Deegan one of our 2009 graduates, and now Clinical Psychologist. Here’s some advice she had for our Killester girls, and what she had to say about studying psychology.

What subjects did you study in Year 12?

English, Maths Methods, Psychology, Italian, P.E.

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

Community Corrections Officer, Researcher, Allied Health Assistant, Psychologist

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

After finishing Year 12, I studied a Bachelor of Psychological Sciences at Deakin University. After that, I completed my Honours in Psychology and then a Doctorate in Clinical Psychology. 7 years of full-time study in total but overall, I enjoyed my time as a uni student and met people that I’m still friends with today.

Who inspired you to get where you are?

Women outnumber men in psychology, and there are a number of inspiring women who I’ve looked up to along the way. I’ve worked with women that are determined, self-reliant, and have overcome any challenges that come their way.

What do you love most about what you do?

I work with adolescents who are diagnosed with mental illnesses. Adolescence can be a really tricky period in a person’s life, and living with a mental illness on top of that can be even trickier. I love that my work involves supporting young people through that tough period, listening to what’s going on for them and seeing if there are ways (big or small) that I can help.

What are you most proud of in your career?

Completing my doctoral thesis in Clinical Psychology. It was a big research project and took 3 years to complete, but I did it!

What has been the most challenging thing about your career?

Probably finding the area of psychology that I want to work in. It’s quite a big field with lots of options. I was interested in forensic psychology and then couples counselling, but eventually, I found my feet working with adolescents.

What have been some career highlights?

After I completed my thesis, my research was published in scientific journals. I also went overseas to talk about my research at 2 conferences. Public speaking at international conferences was absolutely nerve-wracking, but it felt good to push myself out of my comfort zone.

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

The days that I remember the most are the Brigidine days, dressing up, and having a bit of fun with friends.

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

Even if you doubt that it will work out, try it anyway. You never know.

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. 

Alumni Career Snapshot – Marta Miranda

Today we’d like to introduce you to Marta Miranda, a graduate from our class of 1993. Marta is currently working as a Master Data Lead. Here’s what she had to say about her career path. 

What subjects did you study in Year 12?

Home economics, English, Maths, Drama, Legal, Psychology

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

  • Community Radio Grants Manager
  • Master Data Manager
  • Account Manager
  • Data Lead on Large System implementations
  • Promotions Co-ordinator

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

I’ve always been a hard worker and have readily put my hand to learn new things. I studied at Tafe briefly, then found an office job and worked my way up in organisations and roles, to become more senior and gain more experience.

Who inspired you to get where you are?

My first manager was a man who always encouraged others. He helped me go from an Office Junior to a Senior Account Manager of a major Airline within a year.  He always told me to not be afraid to make a mistake and give things a go.

What do you love most about what you do?

I enjoy the simplicity of an area I understand and assisting people in education and understanding the way systems work.

What are you most proud of in your career?

My volunteer work. I have spent the last 25 years in community radio in various roles outside of my normal day job and I thoroughly enjoy it, its a great passion of mine and something I get so much from. I am also proud of the networking and connections I have made whilst working for some amazing global companies, this has set me up in a good position for when roles become available people will always reach out to me.

What has been the most challenging thing about your career?

Trying different types of roles and then realising that I am actually good in the Data and Systems space.  Not being afraid to try another area, a few years back I gave up a great contracting role to work for a recruitment company and then realised a week later that I made a mistake.  Then being resilient enough to just get back to what I love.

What have been some career highlights?

The amazing connections and friendships I have made along the way, travelling interstate and being able to gain so much more experience and not taking work opportunities for granted.

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

The friendships I made along the way, the nurturing teachers and my amazing Drama teacher who told me I had so much potential on the big stage, that I think it translated into my love for my community work.

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

Don’t overthink things, there is so much emphasis to be someone specific or do something specific, but I encourage you to always put up your hand to try new things in the work environment and to look for ways to enhance your developmental path. Most organisations really encourage you to take the lead on this nowadays.  You have nothing to lose in life by giving something a go or trying something new.

There is no right or wrong in a career, do what makes your heart sing.  You really want to be in a position to say “at least I gave it a go”, you will find your way and find what truly makes you happy.