Many of our awards handed out at Senior Prize Giving are named after or donated by former students. The Irene Kylmchuk Award is given to the top English Scholar in Year 12.

We thought it was only right we see what Irene is up to now! From graduating Cambridge University, to working for the UK Defence Force and Rolls-Royce, Irene has done it all.

Irene Kylmchuk attended Hillcrest High School from 1997-2002. Originally from Odessa in the Ukraine, she was a gifted student who excelled not only in Mathematics and Science but also in the Arts and in particular English. The Irene Klymchuk Award is given to the top English Scholar in Year 12. This years winner was 2023 Head Student Jessica Licht.

After graduation from Cambridge University in 2006 Irene took a research analyst role in the UK Ministry of Defence’s Defence Academy, where she focused on military capabilities and geopolitical changes in Russia and the CIS. This developed an interest in defence issues, so Irene joined the British Army as a reserve officer specalising in Russian and Ukrainian interpreting.

At a similar time, she took a jump into the private sector and joined the Rolls-Royce graduate scheme in Derby, UK. Various roles and some great travel followed in a mix of functions and business units. Starting in project management Irene then moved into finance qualifying in chartered management accounting and corporate treasury. Most recently, Irene took a customer facing role in managing some of Rolls-Royce’s combat air contracts with UK Ministry of Defence, thereby tapping into her defence and security interests.

Irene is married and has two young daughters who keep her very busy.