11 June 2018
Former Talbot Heath pupil, Kate Filochowski, was principal electrical engineer for the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games Corporation. After leaving TH in 2001 she studied engineering at St Hilda’s Oxford and this year took the lead in the planning and strategy definition, the design, as well as overseeing the delivery and operation of power systems for the games. Kate spoke about her journey from the South Coast to the Gold Coast, when she met up with her former Maths teacher, Rachel Dyson, during the Games at Easter. Kate said, ‘The route to get here means doing the things you’re interested in and the subjects you’re good at even if that combination might seem a bit strange, and luckily schools like TH encourage that.
Alongside Maths and Physics, Kate also studied A-Level Geography and Theatre Studies: ‘Geography is directly relevant to my job every day, and something I believe I should be influencing, is the concept of sustainable development. There’s fundamentally nothing that sustainable about putting 80,000 people in a stadium, or burning thousands of litres of diesel in generators to power them, but you can and should run events sustainably. And I try very, very hard to do so. Theatre Studies was a fun subject, but studying TS particularly made me a better and more confident communicator. I was examined on technical theatre rather than as a performer in the practical part of the course.’ Kate’s final words on what made this her dream job stems from another key aspect of her time at Talbot Heath, that is her love of sport: ‘at every level, from simple non-competitive physical activity, all the way to elite and professional sport; I genuinely believe that sport is and can be a momentous force for good so it’s a huge privilege to work in sport.’