A passion for STEM leads to career full of adventure.

May 10, 2024 BY

Grace Mulcahy always knew her love for science and mathematics would help her pursue a career full of adventure.

Graduating from Loreto College Ballarat in 2016, Grace was recently inducted into the College’s Women in Time – Inspiring Alumni initiative as their 2024 Young Achiever.

Now in its fourth year, the initiative celebrates the outstanding achievements of alumni across a diverse range of fields and endeavours, with Grace recognised for her contribution to science and surveying within the category of STEM & Innovation Excellence.

Throughout her senior years at Loreto College, Grace married her interests and values to help her determine her career trajectory.

Speaking at their annual International Women’s Day breakfast in March, Grace told students that rather than looking at a career field in isolation, to look inward and consider their passions, how they work best and what values they want within a job.

After completing Year 12, Grace moved to Melbourne to study surveying at RMIT.

It was there she quickly discovered how in demand the profession was, securing her first job with a large surveying company in only her second year.

Since completing her degree, Grace’s career has taken her around Australia – from building train tunnels in Melbourne to mining for gold in rural NSW and now exploration in the Western Australia Pilbara region where she is a fly-in fly-out surveyor.

An average day at work includes flying drones, hiking mountains, wading rivers, crunching numbers and making maps.

In what is a male-dominated industry, Grace has had her fair share of challenges.

“I’ve had to show grit, determination and levels of persistence that I wouldn’t have anticipated when it comes to establishing myself as a professional.”

Having grown from these experiences, Grace says she feels the next step for women in these industries is “not so much getting a seat at the table but keeping it and making an impact”.

Grace is determined to make the next young girl in surveying feel even more welcome, whether it’s inspiring students to explore STEM careers or volunteering on surveying committees, she continues to pay forward the support she has received from those around her.

“Being a Loreto College student has had a profound impact on the woman I am today and the career choices I’ve made so far.

“I knew and felt so empowered by the women around me – staff, students, parents, and former students.

“I knew I had all the support I needed in my community at Loreto College to help me get wherever it was that I wanted to be.”

As this year’s Women in Time – Inspiring Alumni Young Achiever, Grace’s professional success proves that curiosity, grit and a passion for learning can take you further than you’d ever expect to go.