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Scotch Stories: Liam McAuliffe


4 April 2018

Scotch Stories: Liam McAuliffe

Scotch Stories: Liam McAuliffe

While I completed my schooling at Scotch in 2012, I still feel like I am part of the Scotch community. When I commenced in 2005, I was shy, unmotivated and uninterested in anything much at all. By the time I left the classrooms of Scotch, I was inspired and ready to take on any challenge.

In 2016 I completed a Bachelor of Physiotherapy with First Class Honours, and in 2017 I began studying a Doctor of Medicine in NSW. While completing my studies I have worked with a number of neuroscience research groups, including the University of South Australia, the University of Adelaide and the University of New England, publishing papers in the field of Neurological Rehabilitation. It was also a great honour to present one of these papers at the World Congress for active ageing in Melbourne in 2016.

During my time at school I was very much lacking in communication and leadership skills. Scotch allowed me to develop a confidence base that encouraged me to step outside my comfort zone. There were leadership opportunities left, right and centre, allowing me to further improve these skills, to the point that they have become strengths that I rely on - something I couldn’t do without the foundation the college gave me.

Scotch College offers enormous opportunities for student leadership, the benefits of which I greatly underestimated. Roles with a variety of expectations, and each requiring varying skill sets across every facet of the college, allows possibilities for every personality. Each student has the chance to build leadership skills in an area they are passionate about. Other than a few exceptional people, many find it difficult to get up in front of their peers and speak, or to actively lead by example. When the subject matter is something you’re passionate about, the equation changes dramatically. I was far more comfortable delivering a speech about rowing to a room full of people than I ever was reading out upcoming college events in The Chapel.

Scotch offered me a well-rounded education with great support at every turn. I did not have to look far to find a successful role model or mentor. For many of us, myself included, you don’t need to look further than the people you live with for support. My parents believed in the value of a well-rounded education and they believed in me. They provided a balanced and “real” perspective and encouraged me to make the most of every opportunity. They believed that while the opportunities were abundant, it was the self-belief the college encouraged that makes the difference. This self-belief and the extended College community that Scotch offers had a significant impact on my career path. I owe a lot to the relationships I built at Scotch.

Like many of my peers I was supported by parents of friends made through school. These relationships can have an enormous impact on the rest of our professional lives. I owe particular thanks to the Ludbrook family, who have become synonymous for caring and mentoring many Scotchies. Professor Guy Ludbrook has mentored me through every step of my career thus far and I owe any success I have had to his inspirational encouragement. Another significant mentor is notable Scotch Alumni and Member of Council Farlie Delbridge, who’s enthusiasm and ambition has inspired me for many years. From these relationships I have taken confidence, experience and inspiration to develop the character strengths I aspire to have.

Upon reflection, I have a really strong appreciation for the College’s mentor system, something I admit I didn’t respect as much as I should have during my time as a student. I was fortunate enough to be supported in Cameron House by people like Paul Glovitch, Belinda Sorensen and Tammy Parnell. All of whom I have stayed in contact with, and they continue to be very approachable. It wasn’t until I started university that I realised keeping these relationships open and being able to contact former mentors is not the norm – but is very rewarding.

Two people I can’t speak highly enough of are Dale Bennett and Teresa Hanel. Lifelong, professional educators who continuously go above and beyond their roles for the wellbeing of students. Their knowledge of all matters related to best practice education is the basis for their success, but it is how well they know their students and how much they care about them that that makes them invaluable.

When you become a part of the Scotch network, everyone in the community does their best to support you and they will continue to provide any opportunities they can for you to be all you can be.

Liam McAuliffe (’12)

WATCH: Dr Newton discusses how we innovate as a school, highlighting the recent Education Committee Think Tank Eve