BlogTrailblazerKiri Crittenden – Woonona High School | Top 50 Year 12 Trailblazer 2022

Kiri Crittenden – Woonona High School | Top 50 Year 12 Trailblazer 2022

Kiri Crittenden

What are the Trailblazer Awards?

The Trailblazer Awards celebrates Year 12 students beyond their ATAR, recognising those who have overcome personal challenges and used their final year of school to positively impact their community.

Our Trailblazers will have the opportunity to network with industry leaders, build their personal brand and profile as a future leader, get exam ready in our 1-day HSC Trials Accelerator, and so much more!

Find out how Kiri navigated Year 12 differently throughout 2022!

Introducing: Kiri Crittenden

Category: Science & Technology

School: Woonona High School

State: NSW

Career Aspiration: Medical research


  • Rookie Lifesaver in 2020
  • Served over 80 hours during patrol season
  • Working four jobs in four different industries

What makes Kiri a Trailblazer?

In 2020, Kiri Crittenden was named Rookie Lifesaver of the Year. She patrolled for over 80 hours that season, providing safety information to the community, administering emergency aid and care, as well as teaching people how to surf. While to most this already sounds like a lot, she is actually a chameleon when it comes to the workplace!

Kiri has up-skilled in four different industries, being employed in four different jobs. One thing notable about these is an undercurrent theme of serving others. For example, she resolves conflicts across different age groups at Beaton Park Leisure Centre and is a basketball coach and referee for adults and children at PCYC.

With over 80 hours of serving during patrol season, Kiri definitely served a multitude of people and adapted to a variety of situations accordingly. As we know how unpredictable the beach environment is, Kiri is able to think and adjust from the casual day-to-day or the unexpected and difficult situations. Lifesaving itself has an immense weight and name to it as she trains to ensure the safety and security of others.

In unknown and challenging situations, Kiri has learned empathy for others. She actively listens and considers their emotions to help them remain calm in high-stress situations. This enables her to keep her head (and the other person’s head) above water. This not only sets her up for success as a lifeguard but it’s also a lifelong ability to develop rapport with a variety of people.

“[I learned how to show] empathy for others in hard situations or unknown situations and how to adjust my behaviour accordingly.”

Lifesaving is about considering the welfare of others, and sometimes, it’s easy to overlook our own. Keeping afloat in Year 12 proved to be a challenge for Kiri as she faced an illness that prevented her from attending school. This inevitably caused her motivation to sink. It’s not always rainbows and sunshine, there can also be storms and tribulations too and in these times, it is necessary to persevere and adapt.

In the future, Kiri wishes to work in medical research, extending her community-driven mindset. With her ability to shift into other industries, there’s no question that she will also succeed in the medical field.

Kiri Crittenden is an inspiring figure for the community not only as a Rookie Lifesaver, but in her hunger to up-skill in the workforce, and serve her community. For this reason, she has made her way into our Top 50 Trailblazers!

The Top 50 Year 12 Trailblazer Awards

The Trailblazer Awards aim to identify and celebrate students who use their final years of school to invest holistically in the skills and experiences that will maximise their own future opportunities and make a contribution to the future of our society.

Our winners for the Year 12 Trailblazer Awards have demonstrated initiative in volunteering for their school or community, have participated in co-curricular activities, and have held leadership positions within their schools.

Learn more about who placed in the Top 50 Year 12 Trailblazers here!

About Art of Smart Education

At Art of Smart Education, we’re an award-winning provider of holistic tutoring and mentoring for students in years K-12. Our mission is to help students answer the difficult question, “What am I going to do with my life when I finish school, and how do I get there?” 

We understand that true success involves mastering study, career and leadership skills while maintaining your wellbeing, not just excelling in academics and as a result, over the last decade, we’ve supported over 10,000 students to achieve their best and maximise their options for life after school.

Each year over one million young Australians, parents, and teachers access our guides, videos and resources to navigate the journey through high school.

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