Former USYD Students, where Are They Now? Alisha Aitken-Radburn
WORDS BY JULIET LOCHRIN
People say that doing a Bachelor of Arts leads to unemployment. Pfft. In this article, we will explore the career path of Alisha Aitken-Radburn and how she is making the most of her degree today: by signing up to 2018 season of The Bachelor with Nick “Honey Badger” Cummins and acting as its villain.
High-key sarcasm here, in case you missed it.
Alisha started off in a Bachelor of Arts (Media and Communications), with Government and History subjects, at The University of Sydney. She has been described in a recent edition of the Sydney Morning Herald as having been “a colourful character”, “campus personality”, and was allegedly somewhat of a “political mastermind” (according to a suspiciously-obscure, unnamed source). She’s the ‘mother of PULP’. She reported for Honey So-- I mean, Honi Soit, and headed the University of Sydney Union (USU) as President. She was also wrapped up in a racism scandal surrounding ‘blackface’ during her time at Sydney University.
The scandal came about when Alisha retaliated at comments made by those who felt that a picture of two Caucasian women in mud masks was insinuating ‘blackface’. She reportedly told those who expressed upset to “settle the f*** down”, saying that it was “pretty upsetting to be accused of racism when you’re a progressive woman”. After talking with the editors of Honi Soit and realising her insensitivity, she made a public apology on Facebook.
So far, all of this seems to point to her ability to stroll on through life expressing controversial opinions with great esteem. And Reality TV producers lap that s*** up. No wonder they cast her as ‘the villain’: scripted (to an extent), and the contestants have to be able to put on a façade (to some degree), but it definitely helps the Network’s authenticity to bring people in who have genuinely created a reputation for themselves – at least in the public domain – as ‘difficult’ or ‘overly-outspoken’.
Another wonderful piece of information comes into play here. Alisha didn’t just complete a University degree and then go onto The Bachelor. The upcoming Reality TV Star has held jobs at Sky News (as a Liaison Producer), multiple media radio and journalistic organisations, has worked as a Research Assistant at Parliament NSW, and – most notably – worked on Opposition Leader Bill Shorten’s staff as an ‘Advancer’. There are two notes to gleam from this knowledge:
- She chose Reality TV over using her degree and working for a politician. *cue haughty laugh from the intellectual snob in all of us*
- As an Advancer, she worked behind the scenes to organise the public appearances of a political leader. She studied Media and Communications at Sydney University and has worked in Public Relations. She knows how to construct an image online, on social media, and in the real world, by controlling what she posts and what can be implied from how and where she shows up.
My guess? She’s maybe a bit more intelligent and cunning than you might initially think. To be fair, though, she’s on The Bachelor, so I’d say a fair slice of narcissism is probably chucked in there somewhere, too.
But who knows. With your degree from USyd, maybe you, too, can develop your politically- and socially-cut-throat side and exercise all that great and useful learning with a job as a Reality TV Star.