Alumni - CPL Steven Graham

Avionics Technician
Royal Australian Airforce
CBSHS 1986 - 1992
Corporal Steven Graham is an Avionics Technician with the Royal Australian Airforce. He has completed around thirty operational deployments, both within Australia and overseas, including two deployments to Iraq and one to Afghanistan.

Steven has also continued to have a distinguished sporting career.  After he ceased competing as a sprinter three years ago Steven became an international weightlifter.  He has competed for Australia in two Oceania championships (winning a bronze and a gold medal), a Pacific Rim Tournament (bronze) and a World Cup (4th).  He has also broken five state records so far this year.

Steven started at Clontarf Beach State High School in 1986 (in Year 8) and finished in 1992.   He actually left CBSHS in Year 10 and worked for two years fulltime at the Castlemaine Perkins Brewery.  He then returned to school to complete Year 11 and 12.

The subject that most prepared Steven for his life after school was maths. When he joined the Air Force and started his training at the RAAF School of Technical Training in Wagga Wagga, NSW the first subject he studied was maths. He says, “I know you hear a lot that will you use maths in the real world but it really is true”.

The time Steven spent on the athletics track impacted his time at school the most.  He had a Science teacher called Mr Rod Shelton, who introduced him to athletics which he excelled at, leading him to go on to represent CBSHS and subsequently the regional team.  It also taught him the lasting value of leading a physically healthy lifestyle. 

His best memory from his time at CBSHS was when he was presented with his prefect badges.  He remembers that it was a very proud moment and probably his first taste at being a leader and a mentor, something that has held him in good stead for his role in the ADF.

After leaving school Steven had a couple of warehouse jobs that didn’t require much thinking but paid the bills.  He says “I was a late bloomer, my light bulb moment didn’t occur until I was 27 years old.  I had a one year old daughter, saw her birth certificate, it read Father’s occupation as storeman.  I knew at that moment that I wanted to achieve more with my life and it was then I realised what I wanted to do.  I joined the Royal Australian Air Force as an Avionics Technician”.

Steven’s advice to his 16 year old self would be to learn to hear people.  Not just listen, but really hear them.  Communication is one of the most important aspects of life.  Get it early.  Set yourself a realistic goal and work towards it.  At the same time, live in the moment and experience all you can, have no regrets.

If Steve had his time at CBSHS again he would focus more on his school work as a senior.  He says “We had some amazing teachers back then, but I was applying myself mainly to my sporting endeavours.  In saying that, everything I did from CBSHS and through my adult life has lead me to where I am now.  Which is very content, in a good place where I can be a positive role model for my children in how I chose to guide my career”.

Last reviewed 07 August 2019
Last updated 07 August 2019