Class of 2010 – Alexandra Gummer
Class of 2010 Alumna, Alexandra Gummer, started at St Paul’s for her final years of schooling in Year 11. She still fondly remembers the athletics carnivals and competing against other schools in softball and football (soccer). Alexandra now balances her careers between being a chemical engineer/biochemist for CSL Behring and being a professional football (soccer) player for Melbourne Victory.
One of Alexandra’s proudest moments at St Paul’s was achieving an ATAR of 98.25 and obtaining a 50 in Psychology, and she remembers her favourite teachers Mr Curtis and Mrs Thearle as teachers who made learning fun.
Since graduating from St Paul’s Alexandra studied at Monash University and has completed a Bachelor of Chemical Engineering (Hons) and a Bachelor of Science (Biochemistry and Molecular Biology). During this time she balanced her studies whilst playing for Adelaide United and Melbourne Victory in the W-League.
Alexandra also completed a six month exchange in Leeds in the United Kingdom where she was able to play for the Doncaster Rovers Belles in the WSL1 and play against the Chelsea Ladies in the FA Cup.
When we asked her about her current occupations she said “I have two occupations that I absolutely love! Football – competing against the best players in Australia and even the world, and just being in a competitive team environment. I live and breathe football. At CSL Behring my company makes life saving medicines for patients with rare and serious conditions. Being involved in ensuring that our product makes it to the patients safely is something that is incredible”.
“I have always been passionate about playing football, so to be able to say it’s a job is a dream come true. I have also always been interested in biology and I enjoy solving problems so chemical engineering was a natural choice for me.” Her father, also an engineer and footballer, was a great influence on Alexandra in these careers choices, along with her mother who helped her get to each and every training session.
Balancing and managing two careers does come with its challenges. Alexandra said “Both take a lot of dedication and attention to detail, so it can sometimes be stressful to manage both my own expectations and those of my coach and supervisor”.
Outside of her busy career, Alexandra is currently learning German. She also enjoys giving back to the community by coaching a junior girls side and volunteering at a Special Development School.
When we asked her about her time at St Paul’s Alexandra said “I enjoyed the competitive academic side, it pushed me to far exceed my goals with my VCE, in addition to the support I received to complete my SACs when it clashed with my sporting commitments”. She also remembers the support she received when she travelled through Japan and China for the Australian U19 Schoolgirls Tour with an Australian representative side in soccer.
Alexandra returned to St Paul’s in August 2018 to inspire students enrolled in the Elite Sports Performers (ESP) Program and provided valuable advice on how she is balancing her sporting career with her Chemical Engineering career, and how the students can balance their own sporting commitments with school.