We are proudly telling the world about our alumni in our 50th anniversary year. Henry Parham graduated from the IB Diploma Programme (DP) at Mercedes College, South Australia.
Why did you originally decide to pursue an IB diploma?
Ever since I was a kid, I was fascinated by other cultures and would study maps of the world for hours on end. In high school, I also became interested in politics, human rights and international affairs. Pursuing an IB diploma aligned with these interests and I thought it would lead to opportunities to travel and study abroad. I was also keen to learn other languages, which was a key part of the IB diploma.
Which of your IB teachers inspired you most?
I was most inspired by my French teacher, Lesley Davies. She encouraged me to work hard and pursue my passion for French, which wasn’t very popular among many of my peers – let alone my male counterparts. She was a tough teacher in many ways, which many people found challenging. For me, however, she made me a disciplined student and pushed me to achieve my best. Madame Davies also organised a school trip to New Caledonia. It was my first time overseas and first experience of being immersed in another language for an extended period of time. It was a trip for which I will forever be grateful.
How did you reach where you are today?
"I have followed my passions and taken advantage of as many of the opportunities that I have been presented with as possible."
I have worked hard and made many sacrifices to be where I am today – working in the field of international development and traveling the world. I have followed my interests and tried out many different jobs and organisations – sometimes for better, sometimes for worse. I have followed my passions and taken advantage of as many of the opportunities that I have been presented with as possible. I have tried to learn the lessons from all the mistakes I’ve made. At the same time, I also try to celebrate my achievements and be proud of the positive change that I have helped to bring about in my work.