It’s always interesting to hear how the AVѧԺ experience has shaped the lives of our alumni. We recently caught up with Nicole Hirshowitz who is passionate about the health benefits of physical activity – an interest first sparked by Carmel’s Physical Education department.

What did you enjoy most about attending Carmel?

I started AVѧԺ in year one in 2002 and I always loved the close knit and connected community feel. I particularly loved attending all the various camps throughout my schooling, which allowed me to engage with my Judaism and gave me some life skills. I felt that staff provided a fun, safe and engaging environment. I often think back to numerous staff members who I feel played a pivotal role in my career and life progressions.

What are you most proud of from your school experience?

I was fortunate enough to be involved in the student representative council and was head girl of the High School in 2013. Not only did this allow me to be involved in the School, but it gave me invaluable leadership experiences and qualities that I have taken into my life after school. I was always proud to represent Carmel in various sporting capacities including touch rugby for interschool and for WACE. Carmel really allowed me to pursue some of my sporting passions.

Tell us about your journey since graduation.

Graduating from Carmel in 2013, I spent 2014 in Israel with Habonim Dror learning about history, Judaism, exploring and working the land – a year that really shaped me. I returned to Perth and studied at the University of Western Australia completing an undergraduate degree in Science- majoring in Sports Science. At the same time, I was heavily involved in Habonim Dror, taking on roles such as Gizbarit (Treasurer) and Rosh Machane (head of camp).

Like many others in the community, I decided to make my way over east and I settled in Melbourne. I have been living in Melbourne since 2018. I undertook a Master’s Degree in Clinical Exercise Physiology and I have been working in that field for the last few years.

My roles have included working in private practice, community health and in hospital settings. As a Clinical Exercise Physiologist, I work with a range of clientele with varying health conditions and utilise exercise as a way of assisting them with disease management or rehabilitation.

Over the last two years I have been working within the Oncology field. Which has now taken me to where I am today, working at Cabrini in the Clinical exercise oncology research team. A role I am extremely passionate about. I am hopeful that this research will pave a way to change. Watch this space - lots of new positive research is coming out all the time and I am thrilled to continue to contribute to not only Australian based research studies, but international ones too.

What do you enjoy most about your current role?

I have always enjoyed working with people and loved the idea of physical activity. A passion that I feel AVѧԺ’s Physical Education department actually helped to shape! My job allows me to meet varying individuals and utilise exercise as a way of helping them. I love seeing people leave me, feeling better than when they walked in. I feel that my current research role, is going to play a pivotal role to the way in which exercise is used and seen, as a contributing method of treatment for oncology patients. Improving not only physical health outcomes but mental wellbeing too and I love seeing that.

What advice do you have for our current Carmel students who are preparing for their future after graduation?

You don’t have to have life figured out! Enjoy your schooling and work hard, but always know there are ways around things in life. I had never heard of exercise physiology (like many others) until many years after leaving school! So, explore new options and don’t be afraid to try new things. Life isn’t a straight road and sometimes you have to take detours to get to where you want and that’s okay! Try not to fret the small stuff.

You can look up Nicole on LinkedIn .