Curious about what some of our Lanyon HS alumni are up to now?

Tess Henman is a Lanyon HS alumnus and she is doing some amazing work in the world of STEM. Check out some of the work she is doing with the Australian Institute of Sport.

Aaron Smith (below far-left) is a graduate of Lanyon High School. We asked him some questions!

What have you been up to since graduating?

Since high school, I attended Erindale College for years 11 and 12, and then went to ANU in 2013 to study molecular biology. I’m currently in the final months of my PhD examining how plants regulate gene expression in response to environmental stress, such as drought.

How did LHS help you get to where you are today?

Teachers make schools what they are, and I had a number of very influential teachers during my time at Lanyon High. I think they were a big part of how I approached study after leaving high school.

What’s your advice to LHS students, especially those that want to pursue science?

Don’t get caught in the trap of thinking you need to decide your whole future during high school. Keep your options open, and don’t worry that you don’t know exactly what you want to do (I didn’t!). Likewise, for science students: don’t neglect other subjects! There are a lot of skills you learn in them that are essential to being a good scientist.

Image: Jack Fox, ANU

Schae Zarew

What have you been up to since graduating?

It's been 10 years since I graduated. I spent the first few years unsure of what I wanted to do, which included my time at college, but ended up coming back to something I've always felt passionate about, the Health and Fitness world! Today I own a Powerlifting gym called The Strength Syndicate, manage Women's Strength Collective (WSC), host a podcast under WSC, and coach all of my incredible clients!

Can you tell us a bit more about your work and the message you're trying to share?

My work and passion is centred around empowering people through strength, especially women. I spent much of my childhood battling binge eating and bulimia, and after a short-time doing bodybuilding, which only brought my struggles to the surface again, my world changed when I found powerlifting. I spent the next years learning to appreciate my body for what it is able to do as opposed to what it looks like, and shifted from being hyper-focused on aesthetic goals. I founded WSC last year to empower and educate women about their body, to encourage this shift for them too. Whilst my work and coaching has developed over the years, my message has always remained the same: strength training and powerlifting can be the greatest catalyst for change when it comes to our bodies and minds.

How did LHS help you get to where you are today?

I had some really kickass teachers at school that helped shape where I am today. The school is nothing without the people in it, and to be able to call high school the best schooling period in my life is a reflection on those who were there guiding it.

What's your advice to LHS students?

Try not to get too caught up in figuring out what you want to do right now, let it develop as you grow as a person. I hated the pressure of having to know my career path, when I hardly knew what I wanted for breakfast! It is NOT normal to have it all figured out. Try different things, learn from your experiences, and never be afraid to do a 180 sometimes! And for young women out there, I’m going to remind you that your body is an INSTRUMENT, not an ornament.