Past students


Doctor Anneline Padayachee

My name is Dr. Anneline Padayachee (PhD) and I am a nutritional food scientist working at The University of Melbourne, Australia. However I am also a Runcorn High alumni (year 2000). I completed my high school education at Runcorn high from 1996-2000, before studying my undergrad degree at the University of Queensland. While at Runcorn, I completed a double major in home economics and food studies in junior high, thinking I may pursue career as a chef. However after undertaking food science and completing my year 11 work experience placement with a food technologist, I decided to pursue food science and nutrition as a career. Furthermore, with the encouragement of my PC teacher (Ms Longhurst), I ran a successful samosa business supplying teachers and students during Year 11 and 12.


One of the areas that was a challenge for me in school was speaking in front of people. I’m grateful for the opportunities and encouragement my teachers gave me to 'speak-up' and overcome my fear by taking drama 101 (in year 9), participating in the Rostrum Voice of Youth and other speaking competitions as well as mentoring younger students for Tournament of the Minds. My real-life experiences at school not only have motivated me to pursue a career in food science and nutrition, but some of the skills have helped me later on in this journey as well. I will never forget Mr. Wilding allowing me to present my speech on poverty in India in Year 10 – complete with personal video footage of dalits and child slaves working in a construction – Mr. Wilding’s watch stopped working after 45mins timing – but he encouraged me to keep going. Timing may have been out, but I was passionate about the content – which he encouraged in my presentation of the issue. Expressing that passion in an engaging manner has proven to be one of my greatest skills that I utilise more often than not.

In the 10 years from graduating from undergrad, I have worked in the food industry as a food scientist in all aspects of the supply chain, food safety, quality control, new product development as well as packaging and food law. There are currently about 30+ products that I have formulated currently for sale in Australia in Woolworths, Coles and health food shops as well as overseas. A highlight for me was formulating an instant Chai Tea (based on my great-grandmother’s recipe) and an instant Goji antioxidant tea that have won national and international awards. I was head-hunted for a public health screening project in a 2006 Queensland state-wide nutrition and physical activity screening project. And I have been privileged to serve as a committee of management member for the Australian Health Promotion Association (QLD), Nutrition Australia (QLD) and The Nutrition Society of Australia (QLD, and VIC). As a qualified personal trainer, I have also worked in private practice and enjoy working in this area on a casual basis. However my passion is nutritional research science.

Nutritional food Science is more than just a job or a career. I love what I do. I love what I get to do. I love that I have worked successfully as a female in a male dominated industry. I love the autonomy of my current role. I love learning (currently I’m doing a crash course in bioinformatics, genetics and DNA regulation). I love the notion that I am in demand in industry and academia in Australia and overseas. I love the chance to answer questions by being involved in the research. I love being able to lecture and mentor students.


I love that what I do has an impact in real-life: from the food industry to consumers and their health. I love that I get to work in disease prevention. I love being challenged and working alongside other amazing curious minded individuals. I love the people that I get to meet and the collaborations I am involved in. I love the opportunities to travel and speak about my role. I love that I am actually pursuing my high school passion. And while I love Fridays as it means the weekend is around the corner, I also love Sunday afternoons – as it means that it’s Monday tomorrow and I get to go to work J. If you told me in Year 12 that this is what I would be doing, I highly doubt I would have believed you. I didn’t think of myself as much of a science student… but if you’re passionate about something, and you pursue it, anything is possible.

Doctor Cole Weatherall, School dux 1989

I graduated from Runcorn State High School in 1989. I found the staff to be more than willing to help with schoolwork and encouraged me to achieve my goal of becoming a Doctor. I started medical school the following year and graduated in 1995. After 2 years at Royal Brisbane Hospital, I decided that General Practice was my vocation and after 3 years of specialty training I became a fellow of the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners. I have completed further studies in the sub specialty field of skin cancer and hold a master of medicine in this field. Skin care takes up a proportion of my practice now but I still very much enjoy working as a General Practitioner.

I must say that without the help I had from staff at Runcorn High School, I would not have had the confidence or belief that I could have achieved my goals and ended up where I am today.

Alisa Woolcott

While at Runcorn State High School I took advantage of the excellent vertical curriculum which allowed me to complete 3 subjects early. I completed school with an OP 4 and was accepted into Pharmacy at Griffith University. After completing one year at Griffith I transferred to complete my pharmacy degree at QUT.

Throughout my university studies I continued with the same ethics from High School and I achieved excellent results gaining membership to different societies and receiving the Dean’s Merit Award for every year of my studies. I consistently achieved a GPA of over 6.5 each year and graduated with First Class Honours.

Nick Vujicic

Past student Nick Vujicic (bestselling author), was born with an extremely rare congenital disorder known as Phocomelia. The absence of arms and legs has had no restraints in Nick’s success in life. A positive attitude, a thrill seeker, the ability to see the funny side of life and a deep spiritual commitment has aided Nick to accomplish some amazing things. Not only has Nick published several books and DVD’s he is also a very charismatic speaker who has travelled to over 57 countries sharing his story. He has founded an international non-profit organisation campaigning against bullying.

Many of our staff remember Nick’s journey through Runcorn State High School. Nick had faced bullying when he attended primary school in Melbourne, but was embraced by the students and staff at Runcorn State High School. Deputy Principal Steve Wilding remembers Nick playing the glockenspiel in the school band 'watching Nick play in the school band made me feel anything was possible for anyone. He was an exceedingly popular student because his passion and energy was phenomenal'. Nick is now married to Kanae Miyahara and has two sons.

Councillor Steven Huang

I spent two years of my student life at Runcorn State High School as a year 8 & 9 student, back in 1989 and 90. That was the most enjoyable time of my student life. As alumni I am proud to see Runcorn State High has developed from strength to strength in becoming a leading school in the area.

Last reviewed 06 March 2020
Last updated 06 March 2020