An Interview with Kathryn FaLkström

Student, 2007 – 2011 

Kathryn, when did you attend CalCC?

I did my Secondary years at CalCC from 2007 – 2011.

What was your favourite subject?


What is your funniest memory?

In middle school we had a month or so where two of our teachers played small-scale pranks on each other with our class. For example, the whole class would drop their pencil at the same time then pick it up and keep working as if nothing happened, or we would all switch seats randomly at a particular point. They were just small silly things but it made class fun.

What is the most valuable thing you learned/greatest influence from your time at CalCC?

One of the things I am grateful for from CalCC is the teachers taking the time to support us as individuals. As is true with any group of people, each kid had vastly different things they wanted to get out of their education – my motivations were always academic, but others wanted to enter apprenticeships, to socialise, to be in leadership, sports, or simply to fill the requirements they had to. I will always be amazed at how our teachers were able to cater to individuals within a classroom to meet everybody’s needs. That level of care, I would think, has influenced all our lives.

What have you done since leaving?

Well, it has been a big 12 years but I will do my best to summarise!

I had a gap year after graduating CalCC which I am very grateful for as it allowed me to gain some experience in my chosen field (working as a receptionist in an optometry practice) and to start university refreshed and ready to go. I moved to Brisbane for five years while studying my Bachelor of Vision Science and Master of Optometry. I then moved back to the Sunny Coast after graduating to work at a private practice in Sippy Downs (Optikus Optometrists) where I have been working for almost six years now and love it. 

I am passionate about paediatrics and helping kids see at their absolute best (and consequently learn at their absolute best), so as my own personal plea for eye health everywhere – please have your kids’ eyes tested regularly!

I got married in 2018 to Raoul Falkstrom, another member of CalCC’s alumni. Last year we finished building our first home, which is very exciting. We were lucky enough to be hands-on in the building process so have learned a lot about painting, flooring and many other new skills. 

More recently, we have just returned from two months in Europe, which was amazing. We are also learning Swedish together which we were able to test out while overseas. We have a long way to go! Our lives are filled with work, church, family and friends and we are so blessed in all of these things.

What advice would you give to current students?

Find mentors. If there is someone you see who has achieved some of the things you would like to achieve or who has some of the character traits you would like to have – ask them how! Also, work experience doesn’t just have to be one week in Year 10. If there is a career you are thinking about, email a local business and see if you can come in and watch them work for a few days. We have students in all the time and it’s much better to find out if you think you’ll like a job before starting university than when you are two or three years into a degree!