Katie Benstead

Katie Benstead, Class of 2005

What having you been doing since you left Kilvington?

I  studied Criminology and Linguistics, and a postgraduate course in Psychology and IT.
So far, my career has included ; teaching English in Mianyang, Sichuan, China in 2014-15 at the Mianyang Foreign Languages School, transcribing post-mortem reports for the Victorian Institute of Forensic Medicine, anatomical pathology administration at Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre, international and partnerships administration for Deakin University as well as casual work in the Science, Engineering and Built Technology Faculty and the Faculty of Business and Law, travel consultant, legal and medical transcriptionist for the Federal, Family and High Courts of Australia as well as transcriptionist for Victoria Police suspect interviews, and bank and finance reconciliation with the NAB.

Currently, I am a professional polymath and philanthropist! I am in the process of getting authorisation to work in the US, but I am residing here with my partner. I have ongoing volunteer work in San Francisco with the SFSPCA, Project Open Hand preparing meals for the sick and elderly, SF-Marin Food Bank packing and distributing groceries for ‘pop-up pantries’ for families (especially during Covid-19), volunteering for Salvation Army making hygiene packs for the SF homeless community.

I have been Event Safety Officer at the biennial Avalon Air Show in Victoria Since 2015, .

Can you share some career highlights?

Every bit of my experience simply adds to a long list of highlights and exciting adventures! However, if I had to pick a few, teaching in China is something I will never forget; I will always treasure those memories. I had over a thousand students and enjoyed my time with them and local travels.

As an aviation nerd, I also look forward to the Avalon Air Show, which usually occupies two to three months at a time. Currently, my favourite days are those I spend with the SFSPCA where I get to train, socialise, walk, feed, pet (and cuddle) hundreds of different dogs and prepare them for fostering and adoption.

What are your plans for the future?

My plan for the future is really to play it by ear! If my history is anything to go by, I could be anywhere in the future, though we do plan to move back to Australia within the next few years. I will go wherever I’m needed!

What are your memories of Kilvington?

Reflecting on my time at Kilvington: 15 years later, I still dream that I’m late to school. Just the other night, I dreamt of walking through Dalton Hall to see which musical production will be performed this year! As an alumnus with previous leadership in terms of House Captaincy and various roles within the music department, I will always treasure the skills and memories I’ve retained since my time there. You can always tell a past Kilvington student by a few of the following: excitement to clap for someone at any opportunity, a love/hate relationship with the colour magenta, bonding over how Mrs Venn used to encourage us to sing and of course, there are always the few who, after a round of “Happy Birthday”, sing Kilvington’s birthday song, much to the confusion and bemusement of those around us… We will never change, and we couldn’t be happier about it!