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Our young old scholars are the next generation of game changers and visionaries. Some are just starting their careers, some are finding their way in the world. Either way, we are proud to support them on their journeys!

14 March 2023

We chatted to old scholars Dr Trudy Lin (2008), Jackie Lymn (2012), Wenna Shimmield (2010) and Jacob Thompson (2013) to find out what they've been up to since leaving Pembroke and where their careers have taken them.

Dr Trudy Lin (2008)

Where are you working at the moment? Tell us a bit about your role! 

I am a Specialist in Special Needs Dentistry, a mindset and leadership coach, founder of Extra Mile Coaching, and a keynote speaker.  

I am one of only 25 specialists in the Special Needs Dentistry sector in Australia, providing oral healthcare for people with disability, complex medical issues like cancer, psychiatric conditions, or complex social circumstances, including people experiencing homelessness or domestic violence.

I currently work at Respect Dental, in our clinic on Franklin Street in the city, and our mobile dental service, caring for people in the comfort of their own homes and residential care facilities. Our home visiting service aligns with my passion for helping people who face the most barriers to accessing care, as there are many barriers that exclude people from attending a clinic or a hospital. This includes people with physical disability, which includes the elderly population, people with mobility challenges due to chronic pain conditions, people with autism who have sensory sensitivities, people who find it difficult to leave their homes due to agoraphobia, anxiety or multiple severe allergies.

I spend a significant amount of time engaging in advocacy for inclusion and oral healthcare through my roles on various national and international committees and advisory boards, and engaging in research and lecturing at the University of Adelaide. 

I thoroughly enjoy the ripple effect from teaching and equipping others, not just with knowledge and skills, but the mindset to extend themselves, step outside their comfort zones to learn and evolve as a clinician. I run a coaching practice called Extra Mile Coaching, to equip and empower oral healthcare professionals with the mindset and skills to go the extra mile in their professional and personal lives through overcoming self-limiting beliefs and unconscious thoughts driven by socialisation.

What inspired you to go into this industry? 

I pursued oral healthcare because I believe in inclusion. I believe that every person matters, and every person deserves access to live to their full potential. I learnt from my father’s experience with a dental condition that stained his teeth black, how oral health is essential to being included and fully participating in society. I saw the way his smile excluded him from job opportunities and from socialising due to fear of judgement from others, and this had a significant impact on his self-esteem and limited his ability to live life to his true potential. 

With this passion for building a society where every person deserves access to oral healthcare, irrespective of their age, race, gender, social circumstances, and whether or not they have a physical, intellectual or medical disability, I wanted to provide access to oral healthcare to any person who made it to my dental chair, and special needs dentistry equipped me with that capability. 

My youngest brother Arron has autism and my grandmother passed away from cancer and drawing upon their lived experiences has also played a big part in me choosing to specialise in helping others experiencing similar challenges.

What is a fun fact about you that people would never guess? 

Inspired by one of my patients who competed in the Australian Transplant Games, I completed a 105km ultramarathon on the Heysen Trail to fundraise for the Cancer Council. That shocks people because I don’t have the height to be a naturally good runner. I was drawn to ultrarunning to develop my mindset and break through a self-limiting belief I had about not being good at sports. When I broke through that belief, it changed the concept for what I believed was possible for other areas of my life, if I can run 105km, I can do anything I set my mind to. Since then mindset coaching has been the key to thriving in my career, and also in my personal life, including competing in triathlons, overcoming my fear of heights to be a rock climber, and overcoming my fear of the ocean to become a Rescue Diver and Freediver. The only limit is your mind, if you can dream it, you can achieve it.

Any advice for students or other Pembroke old scholars interested in studying dentistry, in particular special needs dentistry? 

Learn as much as you can about dentistry before applying for dental school, getting a job as a dental assistant is a great way to get both hands-on experience and learn what the job entails. Talk to as many dentists and dental students as you can.  

I love my job in oral healthcare, it’s so rewarding. We are so fortunate as oral healthcare professionals, that with our very own hands we can take someone immediately out of pain, and significantly improve people’s lives through the ability to eat, speak and smile. Dentistry can also be a challenging profession and so it is important to figure out if it is the right fit for you and getting clear on your “why” and driving values for entering the field. 

A great place to start to learn more about a career in oral healthcare is to visit my website, which has blog posts, interviews and podcasts where I share my experience with oral healthcare and Special Needs Dentistry.

Jackie Lymn (2012)

Where are you working at the moment? Tell us about your role!

For the last almost two years I've been working at Magic 105.9 in Port Augusta as the breakfast radio host and also as the journalist/newsreader. Our broadcast area covers the whole Spencer Gulf, Mid-North and Yorke Peninsula. However, I have just secured a new job back in Adelaide at Mix 102.3 as a journalist/newsreader/regional support.

What inspired you to go into this industry?

I went into journalism because I always loved English at school, I also fancy myself a bit of a wordsmith. Growing up I was quite a chatterbox so that combined with my love of music and performance background, meant radio made a lot of sense.

What is a fun fact about you that people would never guess?

In my spare time I paint or crochet, I love having some sort of creative outlet.

Any advice for students or other Pembroke old scholars interested in studying journalism?

My advice to anyone who aspires to be a journalist or radio presenter, is to work at a community station as a volunteer to gain experience. Prior to moving to Port Augusta I did news at Fresh 92.7 and that really opened a lot of opportunities for me. Basically, just find any window or cracked door that you can and write regularly to get better as quickly as you can.

Wenna Shimmield (2010)

Where are you working at the moment? Tell us a bit about your role!

I've recently relocated to London with the top-rated engineering design consultancy in the world. It was a huge move, very daunting, but it has been really worthwhile. I studied Civil and Environmental Engineering at Adelaide University, and I work as a design engineer on Water and Wastewater projects; think major pipelines, pump stations and treatment plants. I am a project manager for several multidisciplinary projects where I coordinate environmental, civil, mechanical and process elements. 

What inspired you to go into this industry?

I wanted to have a solution focused career that had positive impacts to communities and the environment. I felt like I made the decision to study slightly engineering on a whim at the time, but, recently I discovered my Year 7 yearbook. To my surprise, I stated that I wanted to be a ‘hydrological engineer’ – which is eerily similar to what I do now!

What’s one thing you miss about Adelaide?

Other than my wonderful friends and family; Argos on The Parade, Mt Lofty hikes, surfing in Middleton, the Central Market and the Pembroke Old scholars soccer team! My heart aches for Adelaide every time March rolls round and I have to miss out on the Adelaide Fringe fun. 

Any advice for students or other Pembroke old scholars interested in studying engineering?

Do not feel like you have to be a mathematical or science genius to get into engineering. It is a myth that you have to take the highest level of maths in school to get into most engineering courses. If you're passionate enough about the applications and end products of engineering you will excel. Studies show, that women, in particular, set themselves a higher bar for determining proficiency in STEM fields. Performance in maths at school is often ambiguous and influenced by social bias, don't let your perception of your abilities determine whether engineering is the right career for you. 

Also, try not to be influenced by what your friends study – you need to make the decision that’s right for you, even if it means not knowing anyone in your course. University or early career courses are an incredible place to make new friends.

Jacob Thompson (2013)

Where are you working at the moment? Tell us a bit about your role!

I am an Assistant Cyber Security Manager with BDO Australia and lead the Adelaide Cyber Security advisory team.

My role is primarily split into two sides of cyber:

  • the technical side: which has me hack into organisations or websites (with their approval) and report to them how they could better secure themselves in the future; and
  • the Governance Risk and Compliance (GRC) side: which focuses on helping organisations protect their people and data via policy development, procedure implementation and staff awareness/training.

What inspired you to go into this industry?

I always had an interest in technology, as I grew up playing video games and building my own computer; however, what kickstarted a field in cyber was thanks to some work experience with the Department of Premier Cabinet (DPC).

My career and study trajectory were decided when I received a scholarship offer from the Department of Defence’s (DoD) Science and Technology Division (DST) to hack a Home Alarm Systems.

What is a fun fact about you that people would never guess?

Whilst I don’t consider myself to be exceptionally talented in hacking, I’m confident I’d be able to hack into most of SA’s organisations if given the time and resources. (Most businesses kind of suck at tech 😃)

Any advice for students or other Pembroke old scholars interested in studying cyber security?

Most information is freely available online, if you have an interest in pursuing a career in cyber, start studying before University and seek out mentorships from those in the industry.