Right off the back of organising the Class of 2000 reunion, which was thoroughly enjoyed by all, Stuart Chalmers shares what’s been keeping him busy since graduating 20 years ago.
After leaving school, Stuart completed a double degree majoring in Indonesian Studies and Tourism Management. While at Uni he worked a Barbecues Galore, which is actually where he met his wife – the couple marrying in Dunfermline Abbey in Scotland and now parents to two beautiful daughters aged 4 and 1.
He then went into the world of travel, working as a Store Manager at various STA Travel stores and then as a Business Development Manager at accommodation wholesalers Stuba at Excite Holidays.
“Travel wasn't something I saw myself going into, but I went on a six-week trip through Europe in 2005 after completing my undergraduate degrees, and fell in love with it,” Stuart said. “I planned a seven-month trip through the West Indies, Europe and South-East Asia in 2007, and the same in 2011 swapping the West Indies for India and Sri Lanka… and along the way I bumped into a fellow Class of 2000 Graduate in Switzerland. When she got back, she recommended I get into travel, and the rest is history!”
“[My love for] the travel industry side of things was down to a curiosity about the world.”
“I know about the spectacular places I've seen in the 54 countries I've been lucky enough to visit, and I know the rest of the countries out there have their own magic - I've even found myself jumping onto street view on Google and just wandering the streets of some little town in Romania or Sierra Leone – so being able to share my experiences to help someone else have their trip of a lifetime can be magical!”
Unfortunately Excite Holidays no longer exists amid the global pandemic, so Stuart recently moved into a new Business Development Manager role with Performance Tiling who specialise in tiling and sand and screed preparation in construction and landscaping. Find more about them here.
“Any Business Development Manager role is fairly similar; it's about maintaining and growing existing relationships with clients, as well as proactively searching for new opportunities to expand your business,” Stuart said.
“You wear a number of different hats so to speak, from empathising with clients, negotiating better deals, pushing hard to increase sales, and a LOT of paperwork but I love it.”
Stuart and his family now reside closer to the Carramar campus in Tapping. His hobbies include indoor beach volleyball, golf and basketball. “I also have a pretty nice collection of vinyls that I love mixing on my decks,” he said.
Reflecting on his time at St Stephen’s School, Stuart said he learned that results took hard work.
“In primary school, I was always one of the smarter kids in my year group but moving to a high school with so many more incredible, intelligent students taught me that results wouldn't just fall into my lap,” he said.
“I still struggled with that concept a bit until Year 12, but I was fortunate enough to have amazing teachers who didn't give up on me, and I was thankfully able to adjust and I learned so much about work ethic which has been important in the successes I've had since then.”
Stuart said he would love for the current Year 12s to know that while it may not always feel like it, “these are the best years of your life”.
“Make the most of every opportunity presented to you and put in the effort now - it will benefit you tenfold in the long run, trust me.”