Since graduating in 2001, Nicholas Lochel and his sister, Alison, have written a popular children's book series - Zarkora. We caught up with Nicholas to see what else he has been up to since leaving Holland Park and some memorable moments about the school.
did you graduate?I graduated Grade 12 in 2002.
you done since graduating?
A lot has happened over the past 14 years. I have lived in Brisbane, Sydney and
Melbourne and travelled the US and UK. I have attained an Advanced Diploma in
Stage and Screen Acting and performed in the theatre and on television,
including the Short and Sweet Play Festival and on Neighbours. I have
co-written 3 bestselling novels with my sister, Alison, which were acquired by
Hachette Australia. We also founded our own publishing company, Thornberry
Press. My life has really been an adventure since graduating high school.
What do you
do for a living now?
I am writing and illustrating full-time and running the business side of
Thornberry Press. My sister and I are currently working on the final Zarkora
book, the first book in our new illustrated junior fiction series, and the screenplay
adaptation of Zarkora – The Fyrelit Tragedy.
think your time at Holland Park State High School helped you to pursue this? If
yes, how?Yes, it did. My Advanced English, Art and Drama classes all helped me to pursue
a career as an actor, author and illustrator. And as much as I disliked Maths,
the subject has certainly helped me to run the business side of being author
you do in the year immediately after graduating?I finished off my second year at the Performing Arts Conservatory, got a job
working at McDonalds, before moving down to Sydney to pursue my acting career.
I also came up with the main characters of the Zarkora series and the basic
premise for the story.
still live locally?Yes, I’m currently based in Brisbane. I’m also very lucky to travel all over
Australia for work.
enjoy your time at Holland Park?I’ve always enjoyed learning new things, especially in the creative subjects. I
was never a huge fan of maths but now that I’m running a publishing business –
doing invoices for bookstores and library suppliers – the lessons I learned
have certainly come inhandy. Most of all, I loved hanging out with my friends
and doing anything creative. For the most part, I really enjoyed my time at
Holland Park High.
still remember your favourite teacher?
Ms. Tremeer (Advanced English)(now Deputy Principal) and Mr Mitchell (Drama) were my favourite
your most memorable moment as a student?
It’s not a single moment, but the thing I remember most about school was
running to Holland Park High every morning to play basketball with my mates. We
used to play before school started, on both breaks and even after school.
your funniest moment as a student?My funniest moment would have to be the time I did a Drama presentation based
on a Chris Farley skit from Saturday Night Live. It was supposed to be a formal
presentation on teenage issues, but I approached it a little differently. The
fact that I gave the presentation a humorous element caught everyone off guard
and the whole class was in stitches. It was pretty funny.
still friends with anybody you met at Holland Park?I’m still really good friends with my mate Tim, who I’ve actually been friends
with since pre-school. I also see loads of my friends from high school around
the place. It’s always good to see them and catch up on what they’ve been up
future, would you send your children to Holland Park?If I’m still living in Brisbane when I have kids, I would definitely send them
to Holland Park High.
Do you feel
that Holland Park has changed much since you graduated?It’s hard to tell. I’ve only dropped in a couple of times since graduating. But
I’ve noticed that the school grounds have definitely improved.
to read the Zarkora series can purchase the books through Dymocks stores or
online at www.zarkora.com.