Nicholls Lecture Series – OB Chris Austin – Join the Civil Service and See the World


21 February 2018

On Friday 16th February, OB Chris Austin gave a lecture to the Sixth Form about his career as a civil servant. He spoke about his visits to many places, such as The British Virgin Islands and Afghanistan, as well as his participation in the G8 summit.

Chris went on to talk about his participation in the UK’s response to the major hurricanes in the Caribbean and how he helped provide the necessary aid, including temporary shelters, food and clean water. He showed pictures of the damage caused by two Category 5 hurricanes, Hurricane Irma and Hurricane Maria, which both devastated the islands, a matter of weeks apart. The pictures showed how all the trees had been ripped out and the whole landscape was flattened, the shocking impact on the community which left many homeless and in need of a huge amount of aid.

When talking about his visit to Kabul, he described how it was more dangerous for him riding his bike around London than him being in Kabul. He also explained how only 0.7% of the UK budget is spent on foreign aid (about £13.4 billion a year) which is one of the highest aid budgets in the world.

In summary, Chris explained to the Sixth Formers how, being in the civil service isn’t just a desk job and can lead to helping real people in times of need, all over the world.

By Claire Lawrence – Lower Sixth Student