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Annie Paras
Class of 2008

My current home is a campsite in Squamish, Canada where I am part way through a six month rock climbing trip around North America.

While I’m currently focused on trying not to fall off rocks, prior to this trip I was an Intensive Care Physiotherapist.

After finishing Year 12 in 2008, I commenced studying towards a Bachelor of Physiotherapy with the intention of becoming a Sports
Physiotherapist. However, after completing my first hospital placement I was drawn to pursue a career in public health.

As a graduate I commenced work in a hospital as a Junior Physiotherapist. Over a number of years working across three major health networks, I specialised in the area of Intensive Care Physiotherapy. As an Intensive Care Physiotherapist you are responsible for commencing rehabilitation on the most critically ill patients. Working in this environment has been incredibly demanding, yet extremely rewarding. It has shown me the true value of life and the importance of human connection.

Over my career I have taken a few extended periods off work to pursue personal interests. During these periods I have come across many inspiring people and connected with them in conversation regarding life and personal development. Many factors have brought me to my current life point, however reflecting upon my time at Ivanhoe Girls’, a key lesson learnt was the idea that gender is no barrier to achieving your goals.

Despite no previous mountaineering experience, at the end of 2017 I set my sights on climbing New Zealand’s tallest peak, Aoraki-Mt Cook (3724m). It’s a technically difficult and dangerous mountain to climb, and only 20-30 people reach the summit each year. After dedicating a full year to train and acquire the necessary skills, I successfully climbed to the summit of Aoraki.

Valuable lessons I have learned along the way:

  • Speak up for what you believe in
  • Love and respect those around you
  • If you are unhappy with your circumstances, only you have the power to change it

  • If you want to climb that mountain, go train and climb it!