Heléna Gill

The boarding experience at Caulfield Grammar School (CGS) profoundly impacted Heléna (Class of 2018), fostering unparalleled bonds and friendships. It was like forming a second family, a home away from home, when her biological family was miles away. This unique environment taught her how to interact with diverse personalities and manage conflicts constructively. 


One lesson that continually resonates with Helena is the importance of companionship, understanding the significance of leaning on friends during tough times and sharing laughter during joyous moments. This journey of self-discovery made her realise that the company you keep shapes your worldview and influences your character. 


Boarding at CGS opened doors to numerous opportunities for which Heléna is eternally grateful, academically and socially.  


Heléna (Middle Left) with fellow Boarding Students
Influential Teachers & Mentors  

Heléna was fortunate to cross paths with many inspirational figures in her educational journey. Among them, Mrs Luscombe, her Year 11 English teacher, holds a special place. There was an immediate rapport from the moment she stepped into her class. Mrs Luscombe was not just a teacher but also a mentor and coach, investing countless hours of her personal time to help her excel. 


But their bond extended beyond the classroom. They shared common passions – be it netball, a mutual love for the Geelong Cats, voracious reading habits, or simply engaging in friendly gossip. Mrs Luscombe also coached the second netball team, further solidifying their bond on and off the court. 


Life After High School  

 When she took her first steps into the ‘real world’ after high school, everyone told Heléna that her first year of university would be the best year of her life. However, after choosing to study Osteopathy at Victoria University, her dream of attending college did not materialise. With her parents living six hours away in country Victoria, she lived alone in a small apartment for the first six months of her degree.  


Although she did make friends at university, most of them continued to live at home in the outer suburbs of Melbourne. Without a car, it was challenging to meet up outside of classes. To maintain her sanity, she worked, exercised, and endeavoured to catch up with friends as often as possible.  



Fortunately, by the second semester, with the support of her family, Heléna discovered University College. This residential college under Melbourne University was a welcome change, accepting her as the first Victoria University student to attend. The next six months were among the most enjoyable she ever had.  


 During her final year of her Osteopathy degree and her first year of her Masters of Physiotherapy, Heléna had the fortunate opportunity to be involved with a TAC cup team in the U18s competition as a Sports Trainer.  



Stepping Outside The Comfort Zone  

Being one of only four female employees at her club in a predominantly male industry was challenging, especially due to the lack of support and communication.  


She loved working with the athletes, who treated her respectfully and kindly. However, she sometimes encountered a lack of support from senior staff members and their unwillingness to share their vast knowledge. 


Despite leaving the position after a year, she gained valuable insights from the experience. She learned when to stand up for herself when her morals were being compromised and when to accept criticism. The experience underscored the importance of resilience. 


Experiences & Looking To The Future 

 Heléna sees herself living overseas, travelling, and working as a physiotherapist in five years. She wants to challenge herself and learn something new every day. She derives the most pleasure from being in challenging situations where she can problem-solve to find solutions. 


“Take up any opportunity that you are offered. If your lecturer or a colleague offers for you to shadow them for a day – do it. If you get offered a job where you can get real-time experience, take it. By trying as many different areas as possible you can before you graduate, you have more power to make an informed decision whilst applying for graduate positions. Also, trust your gut- if you are in a position that doesn’t fit, you’ll know.”  





Related content

Health and Wellness, Mid/Late Career Alumni
Community, Health and Wellness
Health and Wellness, Mid/Late Career Alumni, Sports & Recreation
Community, Health and Wellness, Young Alumni

© 2023 The Caulfield Grammarians’ Association. All rights reserved.