SWAN View Senior High welcomed former students journalist Frances Bell and sportswoman Simone Narkle back to school on Wednesday to join in the school’s 40th anniversary celebrations.
The community event coincided with the school’s arts festival and a host of entertainment, including street performers, circus acts and dancers.
Specialist drama teacher Kate Rogers said students learnt their circus skills from industry professionals as part of the school’s Fame program.
“Circus training requires the students to develop grit and resilience. It takes a great deal of patience and focus to develop a skill to performance level,” she said.
“We also use the circus training to develop the students’ ability to work in teams.
“They discover strengths in themselves and each other and weave together a performance which showcases these skills.”
Ms Bell began her career in journalism in regional WA before becoming the ABC’s state political reporter and Stateline presenter in 2009.
She later moved to Melbourne, where she is the ABC’s state political reporter for Victoria,
Ms Bell told students she had fond memories of her time at high school where she made lifelong friendships and met her husband.
“I first decided I wanted to be a journalist when I interviewed one of my heroes, retired West Coast Eagle Dwayne Lamb, for a Year 9 English assignment,” she said.
“I figured there was no better job than being able to ask people questions for a living.
“Swan View was a great place to learn how to work with people from all walks of life, something I have to do every day in my job.”
Ms Narkle shared her love of sport with Swan View students and spoke of her work as an Aboriginal and Islander education officer.
Not long after leaving school, she went to Melbourne with partner Brandon Stack when he was drafted to the Western Bulldogs.
The couple have returned to Perth and the mother of three, who cares for two other children, plays football for the Perth Angels in the women’s WA Football League.
Ms Narkle was runner-up in the 2017 Miss Naidoc empowerment and leadership program.