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From Graduate to OGA President: The Journey of Danielle Hean

Bunbury Cathedral Grammar School has been a nurturing ground for countless individuals who have gone on to make their mark in various fields. One such alumna, Danielle Hean (PY1997), continues to demonstrate the School’s commitment to excellence and community. Currently based in Bunbury and employed as a Human Resources Business Partner at Tronox, Danielle was recently appointed as the President of the Old Grammarians’ Association. Her journey since graduation has seen her travel around the world, prior to returning to Bunbury.

Reflecting on her post-graduation years, Danielle shared, “After graduating in 1997, I moved to Perth and lived at St Georges College for four years while I completed a double degree in Commerce and Arts at UWA.” Her academic journey laid the foundation for a successful career that was followed.

Following completion of her double degree, Danielle embarked on a career that enabled her to travel to various corners of the world. “I worked in Perth for a few years before moving to Port Hedland to work for BHP, where I started my career in human resources,” she said. Six years of working for BHP honed her skills and prepared her for the global stage.

In 2009, Danielle took a significant leap by moving to London. “I worked for Rio Tinto at their global headquarters and travelled to over 30 countries during my three years in London,” she recalled. It was an exciting period, coinciding with the lead-up to the 2012 London Olympics. “It was a fantastic time to live in London,” she adds.

However, the allure of her hometown proved irresistible. “Once I had experienced enough UK winters, I moved back to Bunbury, continuing to work fly-in, fly-out for Rio Tinto at their Greater Brockman operation for three years,” Danielle stated.

In 2014, Danielle’s life took a new turn when she welcomed her son Jesse into the world. The following year marked her return to Bunbury Cathedral Grammar School, this time as the Community Engagement Co-ordinator. “It was great to be back at the School,” she fondly remembered. “So much had changed, but it had retained its community feel, and lots of my former teachers were still at the School.”

In 2017, Danielle embraced a new role at Tronox in HR, where she continues to work today. Her dedication to her career is rivalled only by her commitment to her family and her connection to the School. “My ties to the School remain strong. Jesse and Bree are in Year 3 and Pre-primary, and I am excited to take on the role of President of the Old Grammarians’ Association,” she shared.

When asked about her most significant achievements since leaving school, Danielle modestly responded, “All of the above – combining career and family.”

One personal attribute that has undoubtedly contributed to her success is her friendly and approachable demeanour. “I am friendly, love a chat, and enjoy getting to know people, which is an important attribute in my line of work,” she acknowledged, emphasising the value of building meaningful connections.

Looking ahead to the future, Danielle’s aspirations are clear. “Keep doing what I am doing and plan overseas travel with the kids when they are older,” she envisions, a testament to her adventurous spirit.

Danielle’s journey highlights the bonds many of our graduates have, not only with their peers, but also with the staff at the School. Her favourite teachers, Mr Goerling in History and Mr Schubert in English, left an indelible impact on her. “They were my favourite subjects, and both were very animated in their teaching style,” she fondly recalled.

As for her cherished memories of Bunbury Cathedral Grammar School, Danielle distinctly remembers her Outward Bound adventure, a 10-day excursion into the bush, a stark contrast to her usual surroundings. She also highlighted her role as Portia in The Merchant of Venice production as a personal highlight.

What sets Bunbury Cathedral Grammar School apart, according to Danielle, is its unique blend of bushland and spaciousness. “The bushland and space are really special,” she noted. “The smaller size is unique to the School and allows the school community to connect and really know one another.”

Danielle’s story embodies the spirit of Bunbury Cathedral Grammar School, where achievement, community, and connection converge. Her journey from student to professional, mother, and community leader reflects the values and ethos instilled within the School’s walls.


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