The Courier-Mail

DARREN SMITH

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He had two stints with the Broncos during his career, but it was during his second period that Darren Smith realised he had to become serious about his desire to be a schoolteac­her. Smith played for the Broncos, Bulldogs and English Super League club St Helens in a career that spanned 15 years, and studying for his teaching degree took almost as long. His Bachelor of Physical Education studies kicked off in 2000, but he did not start teaching until a decade later. “I always had an idea in the back of my mind that when I finished playing footy I wanted to teach,” the 46-year-old revealed. “But while it was possible to play and study, completing my practical was not. And it wasn’t until 2009, four years after I retired, that I actually graduated with my Diploma of Education.” Smith won premiershi­ps with the Broncos in 1997 and 1998, then returned to play 18 games in 2004-2005, while working as chief executive of Brisbane Easts RLFC. “That work was a great experience, but deep down I knew I wanted to teach,” he said. “In 2008, at 40 years of age, I took a year off work, completed my studies and then landed a position at my old school, Clairvaux Mackillop College. After initially teaching PE, maths and religion, I am now working in career pathways, and loving it.”

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