Sue Williams

Sue Williams

I have fond memories of my time as a student at Brighton High School, as it was then known.  Several lifelong friendships were forged at BHS.  

PE was my favourite subject, I loved trying the wide range of sports that BHS offered and managed to make the school swimming, cross country and hockey teams. I sang in the BHS school choir and the chorus of the annual BHS Gilbert and Sullivan production. The musical was the highlight of the school year, and the party following the last performance was legendary. 

I could never have imagined that in the 40 years since achieving average Higher School Certificate marks in 1980, I would have forged a career in the Victorian Government and be awarded a Public Service Medal for my work in helping people to recover from disasters.

When I was 25 I travelled to four continents, including many developing countries and some very remote places. Six months employment in a fish factory in Iceland provided more funds to keep travelling. My passion for travel turned into my vocation – after I returned home I began a career in the travel industry. When I was retrenched and my travel career was curtailed by the 1989 pilots’ strike.

When I secured a clerical role in the Victorian Government’s Ministry for the Arts I had no idea that this would be the beginning of a rewarding 30 year career in the Victorian Public Service.

The highlights of my public service career have included travelling across Victoria to assist local community development projects, and travelling to Timor Leste in 2000 to develop assistance programs.  More recently I have been working in an executive role to support recovery from disasters, and am currently helping with bushfire recovery.

My greatest career highlight has been to help communities in Sri Lanka and the Maldives to recover from the 2004 Indian Ocean Tsunami. I spent eight years working with dedicated local and Victorian specialists to deliver housing, health, education and livlihoods programs. I was awarded the Public Service Medal in the 2012 Australia Day Honours for this work. 

During this time I gained a Masters in International Development, graduating with distinction in 2007.

Travel is still a passion and I take every opportunity to discover new and special places. I am lucky to have a group of friends who share my two interests of travel and bicycle riding.  Every two years we meet to explore a different country by bicycle. Our last expedition was to Montenegro, a bike rider’s paradise with quiet roads, great natural beauty and warm-hearted people. Our next destination is Japan in the cherry blossom season. 

Siobhan Kellaghan-Tasker

Siobhan Kellaghan-Tasker

My name is Siobhan Kellaghan-Tasker and I graduated in the class of 2018. Towards the end of my schooling in 2016, I suffered a significant health issue which left me visually impaired overnight. My health issues are ongoing, and since leaving Brighton, I have focused my efforts on learning how best to promote the wellbeing of marginalised and disadvantaged young people.

I lived in Darwin for six months where I volunteered at both a school in Darwin city and Arnhem land, working with the more disengaged students. As a result of managing my health issues, song writing became my outlet to let others know what I was going through. I now study Music at Australian College of the Arts and write lyrics on topics such as mental and physical illness in attempt to make people going through these things feel heard. My partner Liam and I have a music duo called ‘Anne Reece’ where we have been writing a releasing music. We performed an original at the Mindful Aus. 2019 Mental Health Gala and performed at a bushfire fundraiser earlier this year.

I volunteer at youth development programs such as Green Super Camp Australia and with a mentor and two other incredible women am on the development team for a project aimed at empowering young girls to make them feel heard and understood. I have spoken on the panel of a youth leadership conference where we discussed the education system and what young people can do to ensure they make the most of their experience and feel empowered to think outside the box as far as leadership and their potential.

I am incredibly fortunate for the opportunities I have had and wouldn’t be where I am or where I’m going without the support of my teachers through my schooling.

Serena Lee

Serena Lee

Serena Lee is a designer and entrepreneur most recently known for co-founding AgTech startup Farmwall. Serena is a systems thinker – passionate about smart, biophilic cities, and creating closer connections between humans and food. Recognised as one of Smart   Companys’ 30 Under 30, Serena’s work – whether it be in design or startup business development, is impact based – consistently centered around positive social and environmental outcomes.

Currently acting as a Non Executive Director to her startup Farmwall, Serena provides strategy, advisory and consulting to her CEO, shareholders and corporate partners. Since her time at Brighton Secondary College, Serena undertook a Bachelors in Communication Design at Monash University, started her own design business, enrolled in two back-to-back business accelerator programs, and spent four years building the urban farming startup ‘Farmwall’ with business partner Geert Hendrix.

Built as a social enterprise on a mission to ‘Transform Cities Into Food Producing Ecosystems’, Farmwall grew from two people with an idea—to an investor funded company with several employees, operating across Australia, with major corporate partners.

Serena has run a successful $30k crowdfunding campaign to kick start her business, rolled out a comprehensive indoor vertical farming program to hospitality, and major corporates across Melbourne and Sydney, as well as relocated interstate to expand and grow her NSW business and team.

Through Farmwall’s work in Sydney, Lee was the key partner in delivering a groundbreaking, indoor urban farm to property developer Mirvac, winning their company the prestigious AFR BOSS Most Innovative Property Company in 2019. The team then went on to co-design the ‘future food’ delivery to Westpac Bank, educating hundreds of employees on the importance of urban food production for the environment, as well as physical and mental health.

On top of being a recognised as Foodservice Australia’s ‘Top 30 Under 30’ in 2018, Serena is a finalist for the Environmental Sustainability Award (7NEWS | IKON Services Australia 2020), as well as a nominee The Australian Leadership Award (Australian Davos Connection 2020).

Serena’s work even granted her the opportunity to present Farmwall to former Prince Harry and Meghan Markle in Government House, at the Victoria Youth Leaders Reception, showcasing the states most honourable ventures in presentation to the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, in the presence of Linda Dessau The Hon. Governor of Victoria.

Dr Sebastian Hobson

Dr Sebastian Hobson

Sebastian (Bass) graduated from BSC as College Captain in 2001 and then from Monash Uni with a medical degree and honours degree in medical science in 2008. He spent his internship year at The Alfred Hospital and then trained as an Obstetrician and Gynaecologist rotating through Monash Health and including a rural stint in beautiful Launceston.

During his registrar years Bass completed a Master’s in Public Health and then a PhD in pregnancy research, both through Monash with the support of fantastic supervisors. He has subsequently subspecialised in caring for high risk pregnancies and now works as Assistant Professor in Maternal Fetal Medicine at Mount Sinai Hospital and the University of Toronto in Canada. He is obsessed with travel, dinners with friends, trying to find good coffee in Toronto and their Labrador Benny!

Ruslan Kogan

Ruslan Kogan

Ruslan attended Brighton Secondary College in 1995 and 1996 before receiving a scholarship and transferring to Melbourne High School.

One of Ruslan’s first business ventures was during his schooling years when he and his family lived in the housing commision flats right next to the Elsternwick Golf Course. After noticing that golfers would hit balls off the fairway and were often too lazy to go search for them — he’d collect the lost golf balls, clean them and repack them in egg cartons, selling them to golfers on weekends. During high-school he then launched a string of other businesses including a car wash service, mobile phone repair business, and a web design agency. 

Ruslan continued to show a keen interest in technology throughout high school, and finished top of the state in Information Processing and Management with a perfect study score in Year 12. After graduating, he attended Monash University, where he studied and began working for companies including Bosch, General Electric, and Accenture.

At the age of 23, Ruslan founded out of his parents’ garage, selling his own brand of flagship TVs. Now 14 years later, is the leading online retailer in Australia with over 1.9 million active customers. To even better serve and delight its customers, has since expanded into Mobile, Internet, Insurance, Travel, Cars, Super, Health and Money. is also now a publicly listed company in the ASX300.

Ruslan believes it’s important to inspire and educate the future generations who hope to become young entrepreneurs themselves. He often uses his time to speak at different schools and universities to inspire students such as those who attend Brighton Secondary School. He believes that these students are the future and is happy to share some wisdom and advice to students whenever he has the opportunity.

Rob Quiney

Rob Quiney

I began my time at Brighton Secondary College in 1996, after moving from the Eastern Suburbs, and completed Year 12 in 2000. I met some amazing people at that school and have life-long friends as a result.

I was lucky enough to travel to England the following year to play a season of cricket over there. It was life changing. I learned a lot about myself, both as a cricketer, and as a person.
Four years later and after a hell of a lot of hard work and luck, I was rewarded with a rookie contract for the Victorian Cricket Squad. I didn’t perform overly well throughout that season, and lost my contract. But I got an invitation to train with the squad the following season. I worked at Puma in their factory packing orders whilst training as much as I could with the State team. Through a couple of good performances and some good timing, I was picked to debut for Victoria against Qld in Nov 2006 in the one-day format and was Victorian representative number 810 in the Sheffield Shield team a few months later.

I was lucky enough to have represented Victoria over a period of about 10 years, which included being involved with some successful teams. We won 5 Sheffield Shield Titles during my time. Something that I never would’ve thought in my wildest dreams I would be apart of. In November 2012, I was selected to be apart of the Australian Test team, cricketer number 429, playing 2 tests. Unfortunately my performances in the Test arena didn’t warrant my selection for any more games.

Throughout my cricket journey, I was able to travel to places like India, England, South Africa, Switzerland, Italy, Holland, Austria, Sri Lanka and New Zealand.
During my time as a cricketer, I had tried a few different areas for me to transition into once cricket was over including Photography, Carpentry, media and ended up co-managing a Garden Maintenance Business. Ironically, working with professional athletes and their transition, is where my passion currently lies. I love helping people, and after some study and work placement, I am lucky to be currently working in a role that exposes me to my passion.

I am a Regional Manager with the AFL Players’ Association. My role ranges from being the conduit between AFL/AFLW Clubs and the AFLPA, to assisting the first year players’ Induction Program, guiding retiring and delisted players through their transition out of the game and much more.

Obviously, I get a little nostalgic thinking of my time at Brighton Secondary College. This year marks nearly 20 years since I finished Year 12 and I want to thank the teachers and staff who were so patient with me through my time there.

Image: Sourced from the Herald Sun