College alumna Susanna Je inspires students at graduation

Susanna Je

Susanna Je is a talented Brisbane Adventist College alumna who delivered an inspiring address to our students at graduation today. Susanna and her two sisters commenced study at Brisbane Adventist College in 1998 and contributed much to College culture while here. She graduated with the Class of 2008.

Bubbly and motivated, into sports and music, Susanna worked hard and excelled at many endeavours. She was primary school captain and then College captain, active on the student council, involved in community service, string ensemble and on both the soccer and volleyball teams. By all accounts, she was also an excellent handballer! 

Susanna recently completed a double degree, Economics and Law, at the University of Queensland. During her studies, she took a year off to obtain a Diploma in Languages majoring in French while living in Vichy, France. "I only knew the French words for hello and goodbye before I left," she admits, "but I've always wanted to learn a European language."

It's clear that Susanna squeezes the most out of life. This is why we asked her to come back to BAC and address our students at today’s graduation.

Before she arrived, we gave her one final BAC assignment: Please give us some background into what shaped you and what drives you. 

Was there a significant person or experience you had while at BAC that had a lasting impact on you? 

"In year 3, I was in Mrs Ferris’ class so it was kind of compulsory to join the school choir but I’m grateful for it because that sparked an interest in music and performing arts. Ever since then, I’ve always participated in school or local church choirs and one of my greatest enjoyments in life is going to watch concerts and musicals. Every time I bump into Mrs Ferris I’m taken back to my eight year old self, standing on stage with my friends singing ‘Zip-a-Dee-Doo-Dah’. Yes, that’s a real song. 

"Travelling to Mungindi on a StormCo trip with my best friends in year 12 was also an unforgettable experience. It taught me the joy of giving is far greater than that of receiving and that wealth and experience are not barriers to providing love, care and service to those in need. Since then, I’ve been actively involved in my local church to organise annual visits and concerts at Adventist retirement villages. I’ve also travelled to Cambodia with ADRA Connections to build a library and run kids clubs for a rural primary school. I’m praying and planning to participate in more mission trips in the near future because they not only develop me as a global citizen but also strengthen my relationship with God."

What do you think contributed most to your academic success? 

“I owe every achievement to my supportive, dedicated and caring parents. By example, they lived diligent, respectful and faithful lives. Since my primary years, they taught me the value of hard work and integrity and that greater knowledge opens greater opportunities. They never pressured me to study but rather encouraged me to explore and experience all that is on offer, and some more; to live a fulfilling life. I believe this trust and freedom allowed me to truly enjoy learning, discover my strengths and succeed where my greatest interests lie."

Did you always have a clear idea of what you wanted to do once you left school? 

"I enjoyed a variety of subjects while in school but I was not quite sure what area of profession I wanted to pursue after graduation. At one stage, I was interested in becoming an architect, a police officer or even an airline pilot! Regardless of the job title, I knew I wanted to dedicate my labour to supporting people in financial and spiritual need. My parents had a great influence on cultivating my passion and burden to invest in young Adventist students and professionals to experience a closer relationship with God by serving others and encouraging them to be His soul-winning disciples."

Have there been any detours along the way?

"For the past 10 years I’ve learnt that life doesn’t always work out according to plan, no matter how well you plan it. I feel like I’m the 21st century Jonah. God has been leading me to take the path He has predestined for me so that He can work through me to witness to particular people in my sphere of influence but I’ve been trying to avoid the heavy responsibility and find an alternative way to serve in His mission. Satan has interrupted and discouraged me to doubt myself on multiple occasions but thankfully I have a very strong support group who unconditionally love and encourage me through those difficult situations. God has also been very gracious in constantly giving me another chance to get back on track each time I go astray." 

What's your dream job? If you get that dream job, what then?

"Personally, I don’t believe there is a ‘dream job’. I don’t even want to retire! I want to constantly develop my knowledge and skills and progress my career into various disciplines so that I can positively influence many people and contribute to improving the environment and society for future generations to come. My ‘dream’ would be to become a philanthropist and sponsor the younger generation and churches to win souls for God."

What advice would you most want to hear if you were a student sitting in the audience today? 

"The world is full of endless possibilities and opportunities yet to be seized. You, as a citizen of this world and an ambassador of Christ, have the potential and a duty to make a positive contribution to its sustainability until Christ returns. Don’t be afraid nor limited by your own understanding but surrender yourself to God and ask Him to realise great things through your life. Most importantly, ‘[d]o not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will’ (Romans 12:2, NIV)."

Thanks for sharing these thoughts with us, Susanna. We wish you God's richest blessings.  

[PLEASE NOTE: This profile was edited on 20/11/18 to correct facts that were in the original introduction. That incorrect information was not supplied by Susanna Je.]