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Newsfeed > Life after Seaford - we interview some Old Seafordians > Holly O'Rourke (Dorey) (1996 - 1998)

Holly O'Rourke (Dorey) (1996 - 1998)

Alumnus Holly O'Rourke spoke to us about starting life in Australia and setting up her own Floristry business

Years you attended Seaford?1996 - 1998
House: Mansion 

What do you do for a living now? 
I have my own Floristry business focused on designing floral arrangements for weddings.
What led you to this career and to move to Australia?
I went on holiday in 2011 to attend a friend's wedding in Sydney and met my husband at the wedding. He was living in Newcastle Australia at the time and within 6 months I had  packed up my life in London and moved to Newcastle to be with him. A year later I was made redundant from my job as a Personal Assistant and it gave me an opportunity to re-think my career options and do something different, so I excitedly embarked on a Floristry course. Once I had completed my Certificate I nervously put myself out there and offered my services to friends for their weddings. A few successful jobs later gave me the confidence to set up my own business and it has grown from there.

What are your plans for the future? 
Having lived in Australia now for 7 years and with two young daughters, we have decided to move home to Surrey to be near family later on this year.  I am very excited about this new opportunity to set up over there and continue to grow my Floristry business in my home town. 

What are your happiest memories from your time at Seaford?  
I used to love sport at school and I remember being outside all the time in the beautiful school grounds. I also remember some great school trips, especially an art trip we took to Barcelona, that was definitely a highlight. 

What do you feel were the greatest benefits of attending Seaford? 
It was very flexible in terms of being able to choose the A Levels I wanted to do. I was the first and, at the time, only girl in my year to take PE as an A Level and my teachers were always encouraging and supportive. I can remember my PE teacher picking me up from a school CCF training camp one Saturday so that I could play in a County Lacrosse match as she didn't want me to miss out. That level of support from teachers plus being surrounded by the most beautiful scenery made it a great place to be at school. 

Are you still in touch with many other alumni?  
It is true what they say about your school friends being the best you will ever make. I have some life long friends from Seaford who I still see every time we come home and look forward to spending much more time with in the future.

When was the last time you were back at the school?  
We came home for Christmas last year and my nephew was playing rugby against Seaford so I came down to watch him play. I managed to catch up with Mr Grantham-Smith in the Art Department and look at the amazing work the current pupils have created. I was so impressed with the new facilities there.

What advice do you have for current Seaford pupils? 
I would say that school is the best place for discovering what you enjoy doing and also finding out what you're good at. You never know until you try something new if you're going to love it, so use those wonderful facilities that you have on your doorstep while you've got the chance. 

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