26 October 2022
Doug Radford (2014) studied at the University of Adelaide, earning a University Medal for his double degree in Civil and Environmental Engineering and Finance. He is now a PhD student and researcher at the University, supported by the Westpac Future Leaders scholarship program, developing tools for evidence-informed adaptation to natural hazard risks. Doug was invited to speak to the 2022 Leavers at the Valedictory Dinner.
What is your favourite memory of your time at Pembroke?
My first Pembroke scouts camping trip. The late Duncan Falconer speaking softly to us in the darkness of the bus once we’d arrived. We held a memorial for Duncan’s 40th Birthday last weekend which was really special.
What is your biggest career highlight?
It’s probably been being able to meet and learn from other people. I’m doing my PhD at the moment, so attending conferences and exchanging ideas at these types of events is really exciting and such a highlight.
The best advice I have ever been given was…
Be willing to have fun with it – playfulness is a really valid path to learning.
Name three places that are on your bucket list
The Kimberleys, Daintree Rainforest and ski fields in Japan.
My favourite book is…
Humankind by Rutger Bregman (a good recent read is also Braiding Sweetgrass by Robin Wall Kimmerer).
What inspires you?
The wonder of the natural world and the goodness that can be found in other people.
If you could have coffee with anyone in the world, who would it be?
No one exciting – my parents and sisters probably!
What is the one thing you’ve always wanted to try but you’ve been too scared to?
Singing or playing musical instruments, especially in performance settings.
Name a dish that reminds you of your childhood
Lasagna – I am a vegetarian these days so I’d eat moussaka, but the memory of big dishes of lasagna lives on.
What advice would you give to your 18-year-old self?
You’ll find meaning and value in your life from many different places and across different scales. Some tied to work, some not. Acknowledge and appreciate these values and meanings for what they are, none better than the other. With this in mind, be prepared to take risks and try new things, you’ll always have those other sources of value.