Humans of St John’s
Welcome to the next edition of Humans of St John’s featuring College Groundskeeper, Ryan Lochhead. As part of the St John’s maintenance team, Ryan has been busy over the past five weeks maintaining and preparing the grounds for the full return of students this week. Learn more about Ryan’s landscaping journey and his love for his work.
I grew up on the bayside of Brisbane and while I spent most of my childhood in this area, I did live just around the corner from St John’s for one year. I was an active kid, spending much of my early years playing soccer and then moving on to rugby league from the age of 13. I really loved the sport and had an opportunity to receive a scholarship however, unfortunately, that was not to be due to an ACL injury in my leg.
During my teen years, I received my first proper BMX bike and spent all my spare time practising and even entered into a few minor competitions. I had an interesting childhood which tested my character on many occasions but is one that I wouldn’t change as it has made me the person I am today. Although I did quite well at school, I decided that further study wasn’t for me and after graduating, I entered the working world.
I began working in the metalworks industry as a steel fabricator but couldn’t settle in this role. I did pursue several other trades before applying to be an apprentice greenskeeper at the age of 21. It was during my apprenticeship that I had the opportunity early on to work under the instruction of a professional who was knowledgeable on landscaping and was well known and respected in the golfing world. This experience instilled in me a high level of care and attention to my work which I have retained throughout my journey to St John’s.
I finished my apprenticeship and worked at a couple of Brisbane golf courses before transitioning towards home gardening and landscaping. Although I loved the work, it was quite structured, and I found I wasn’t able to fulfil my creative needs and make the impact I’d been hoping to. When the opportunity arose as a Groundskeeper at St John’s I felt it was somewhere I could hone my skills and make an impact in the lives of the community.
I’ve been working at St John’s for almost 18 months now and have found the environment to be friendly, supportive and respectful; something I haven’t experienced a lot of in my past working life. The appreciation and respect I’m shown by the members of staff here at the College have been amazing. It fills me with pride for my work and inspires me to achieve the best outcomes for the College in my role as Groundskeeper.
You might see me around the College grounds grooming and caring for the gardens and landscape. It is my responsibility to regularly maintain the visual presentation of the College. The work is very physical, which can sometimes be difficult (particularly in the hotter months). However being able to stand back and look at the end result and what I have achieved, makes it all worthwhile!
Outside of work my hobbies include gaming, creative writing and drawing. I enjoy the challenge of learning new things, having discovered that I have an interest in the solar system and the inner workings of the universe.