Thornbury High School prides itself on the diverse interests of our students, and this is reflected in the varied pathways our alumni have taken to reach success in their chosen fields. From professional sports to journalism, from visual art to rocket science, our student alumni are united in their rigorous pursuit of excellence, which is reflected in the stories of the students below.

If you’re a former THS student with a story to tell, please get in touch and let us know! Your stories can help inspire the next generation of Thornbury High students to achieve personal and professional excellence.

Hayden Smith (2015)

After graduating in 2015, I was a bit unsure what I wanted to do, but I decided Screen Shot 2015-11-06 at 12.04.16 pmto undertake a Bachelor of Arts and a concurrent Diploma of Music at Melbourne Uni. I chose these courses because they allow me to continue to pursue my interests, including media, theatre and (obviously) music, as well as providing the groundwork for career paths such as teaching. Completing both a Bachelor and a (concurrent) Diploma keeps me busy!

My strongest memory of Thornbury High School would have to be the fun times that I had with the friends I made, particularly during extra curricular (school) activities, including Stage Band, Concert Band and school musicals.

I would say the performing arts had the biggest impact on me at school: music, theatre studies and media. The teachers across all of these subjects encouraged me to follow my passions, to strive to improve and to maintain a positive attitude, all pieces of advice I have carried with me into university. It is also no coincidence that I am studying subjects aligned with all of these classes at university.

Having fun, being positive, and staying happy is always the first step to success, and if any current students asked me for advice, I would just say: do what you want to do (in terms of study or work), work hard and most importantly have fun! 🙂

Anna Diacos (2014)

Anna-DiacosAfter graduating from THS in 2014, I was accepted into a BFA of Production (Design Specialisation) at VCA, which I began in 2015.

My strongest memory of Thornbury would be the Kaye Coghlan Theatre and the Media department studio – countless classes, shows, and the happiest and most pivotal moments of my life all stem from there.

The most influential teachers would have to be Ms. Parrey, Ms. McCulloch, Mr. Richardson and Ms. Conrick. Though all of my teachers were supportive, nothing will compare to the hours these teachers spent mentoring and encouraging me, even through my most stubborn and lowest of days – which is when I needed them most. They introduced me to and encouraged me to pursue theatre, film, creative writing, and my ability to do well in those fields.

The best advice I received was to stop thinking so much about what everyone – and most importantly you – feels about what you should be doing and start doing what’s actually right for you. My advice for students graduating is to pause for a second and really take everything in – even if you wish it was over, you will miss it for all that was wonderful. Remind yourself of what you knew on your first day and be proud of what you know now – this is not just measured by classroom achievements, but by friendships, personal growth and of everything to come. Above all, thank the teachers, the friends and the family who stood by you through it all.

Riah Stanley (2014)

Riah-StanleyI graduated from Thornbury High in 2014. After graduating, I was pretty sure I wanted to get into film. My favourite subject at THS had been Media and I really enjoyed making my short film in Year 12. I really enjoyed making my VCE short film with my friends – it was based around a water fight, and my friends were so passionate about it, they were happy to roll around in mud to help make the costumes more realistic!

Media would probably have had the biggest impact on me. It gave me a lot of skills in editing, cinematography and knowledge about what makes other films great. It made me very passionate about something that had previously just been a hobby.

After graduating, I took a year off to try and expand my knowledge in the field and became the editor for a magazine and a filmmaker for the Darebin City Council. I realised I enjoyed many mediums of Media, not just film, so I took up Media at RMIT in 2016.

If you’re considering a career in something like media, art, design, etc, remember that networking is how you get anywhere. Volunteer somewhere first, because if you’re good at what you do, they’ll recommend you somewhere else, and that’s how you’ll get work and learn more things. If you’re passionate about something, then you’re half way there!

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