Hard work, organisation and focus key to achieving dream
JUGGLING a distinguished career in science on top of representing her country in cricket and being a stalwart in one local institution is no easy task.
But Laidley's Katherine Raymont took it all in her stride.
While working in the Government Chemical Laboratories in Brisbane on a cadetship a year after finishing at Lockyer District High School, colleagues encouraged her to pursue a career in cricket.
She would go on to captain Queensland and represent Australia - training and playing fixtures all while furthering her career in the chemistry field - and just last year became the second ever female life member of Queensland Cricket.
"I believe the first time I got picked (for Queensland) I was in the right place at the right time because somebody couldn't go and I went instead,” Ms Raymont said.
"That's when the dream was really made... I came back and then said that I wanted to try and play for Australia.”
After committing herself to intensive coaching, Ms Raymont became a regular in the Queensland squad and went on to captain the side, first gaining the role in the 1985-86 season and holding it until she retired in 1993.
In 1990 she played for Australia in a tour of New Zealand, playing three tests and a single one day international.
While it seems like it might have all been a bit overwhelming, her passion for doing what she loved meant it was no chore.
"I think you have to be organised and focus on what you want to achieve,” she said.
"I think it doesn't matter whether it's work or your sport, or dance or art, you've got to be prepared to put the efforts in to get the rewards.
"You've got to put in a lot of work to make those dreams happen.”
Mornings would involve looking after the animals on the family property and straight after work she would travel to Brisbane three or four times week for cricket training.
Players more-or-less had to pay their own way when flying to games and Ms Raymont was often happy to drive to fixtures, whether it be Adelaide, Melbourne or Sydney, to save costs.
"When you're younger (travel) doesn't worry you, when you're aspiring to do something... I just enjoyed it,” she said.
As well as being laboratory manager at the UQ Gatton campus, where she has worked since 1982, she is currently the president of the Gatton Show Society after a 40 year involvement and still finds time to pull on the gloves for the Lockyer Veterans Cricket side.
"Sometimes I think it's up to yourself, you've got to get up there and show that you can do it... it's not always easy,” she said.
"You need family support to help you to do these things as well. I wouldn't have been able to do it without family.”
She fondly recalls the start of her career while working in the labs in Brisbane, just fresh out of high school, where things could have been made difficult by being the only woman there.
Instead, she thrived and became the first female in the lab to be put in charge of assaying gold - working with furnaces burning at 1800 degrees to determine how much gold was in samples - and set a strong base for what was to come in the rest of her career.
"When I first started all those years ago, there were 12 fellas and I was the only female,” she said.
"We had a ball though, we had a good time, they always accepted me.
"I've been very fortunate, I don't feel I've ever been picked on or excluded (because of my gender), I've been very lucky in the environments that I've worked in.”
She believed there had been a shift, if a gradual one, in attitude in recent years.
"I'm now a life member of Queensland Cricket and that's pretty male dominated industry... I think those sorts of businesses have had to change,” she said.
"They're happy to acknowledge the things that we've done.”