Conversations with former students: Ellen Massuger

June 20, 2018 2:04 pm

We spoke with former student, Ellen Massuger, about her time at Kilvington, her journey to where she is today, and some advice for current Kilvington students.

Hi Ellen, tell us a little bit about yourself.

I went to Kilvington from 2002 – 2013 and absolutely loved every bit of it. I am currently a newly qualified registered nurse and I work at The Alfred on 6 West, primarily the burns unit and I’ll be rotating to Sandringham Emergency Department in July.

What year did you finish at Kilvington?


What have you been up to since leaving Kilvington?

I spent my ‘schoolies’ in Vietnam volunteering for four weeks teaching English, working in orphanages and assisting with an organisation named KOTO. Following that I studied a Bachelor of Nursing at Monash University that I completed at the end of 2017.

During my studies I took a year off and travelled to Europe, USA and New Zealand. Whilst completing my Nursing Degree, I worked as Practice Manager in a dental clinic and also as an Advanced First Aid Medic responding to emergencies at local events for Colbrow Medics.

What is your favourite memory of Kilvington?

I have so many amazing memories at Kilvington, it is so hard to pick one. However, my favourite memory would have to be when I was in Year 3 and my teacher Mr Hart would take us in a ‘time capsule’ and we could bring our desks and chairs onto the green and complete our classes in the fresh air and sunshine.

Did you end up where you expected you would when you finished school?

Yes I did thankfully. I always longed to finish a degree in something health related and to start my career in my early twenties. I feel very lucky to have found a profession I am passionate about and love a lot; as for some people this can take a much longer time.

How did your time at Kilvington prepare you for what you’re doing now?

I loved Kilvington’s core values as these were reflected in both the teaching and community feel of the school and taught us to respect everyone, which is an admirable skill to have in the real world. Kilvington provided amazing opportunities to travel overseas and expose us to third world living and give back to those less fortunate than us, always abiding by the school motto, ‘not for our own but others good’. These experiences were responsible for my further volunteer adventures post school, and working in a profession that gives back to the community every day.

What have been some of the biggest challenges you’ve had to face to get where you are now?

Navigating life out of school is hard as there is no common routine. You have to become independent and make big decisions as you are now that scary thought an ‘adult’. Nursing is a profession that can be confronting at times, and poses many challenges that can be difficult to overcome. However, Kilvington taught me many strategies throughout high school to cope with stressful situations.

What advice would you give to others who might be faced with similar obstacles?

Believe in your instincts. I have found that nursing teaches you to get in touch with your ‘gut feeling’ and nine times out of ten its right. Use your support networks such as family, friends, teachers and sporting clubs to support you when you feel lost and unsure where you are going in life after school. Embrace your new-found love of independence, broaden your experiences and travel, study, relax and open yourself up to bigger and better experiences

What has been your biggest highlight so far?

Graduating from university and registering as a nurse. I took a year off during my studies to travel and work overseas, this was definitely a highlight as I met many different people from around the world, who are now a great network for future employment opportunities. As well as being exposed to many different cultures and ways of living.

What excites you about the future?

I am so excited to advance in my clinical practice in Nursing. I strive to specialise in an area of nursing, potentially critical care. However, I look forward to going through life and seeing what life brings me because every day is exciting when you meet new people and learn new things.

Any advice for our current Year 12 students as they embark on the next phase of their journey?

Embrace all new opportunities that are brought or offered to you. Don’t give up if you hit speed bumps in your study or in life, because these bumps help build resilience and confidence to conquer the next bump you may encounter.


Thank you for talking to us, Ellen!


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