Carey Support a Solid Foundation to Launch Acting Career for Nicholas Coombe

Working on a US TV series was just a dream for Nicholas Coombe when he was a student at Carey Baptist College, but it is a figment of his imagination no more.  The 2012 graduate is now starring in the ABC(US) series Imaginary Mary, starring alongside Jenna Elfman. It’s a huge break for the former Canning Vale kid, who head to Canada after he left school to follow his dream.

Coombe credits the solid foundation he received during his schooling as the reason he felt confident to chase his passion. “Carey was life-changing for me. The school was super-supportive and encouraging.”

One teacher in particular had a big impact on Coombe – his English teacher April Jones (now McElroy). She had lived in Canada, so Coombe was able to pick her brains about his plans to move there.

“Nick was a very hard-working, diligent kid. He was very focused and knew what he wanted to do,” says Mrs McElroy.

After moving to Carey in Year 10 for its Drama and Music programs, Coombe studied piano, guitar and even played ukulele. He says all of his teachers encouraged his passion for drama and musical theatre, even when he spent time away from school working on acting projects. “I did Grease the musical – and they used the hours I did on that towards my workplace placement. I got to spend that time training for my career.”

Mrs McElroy, now in Careers, says it is important not to pressure kids to do something that’s not right for them. “It’s really important that we don’t have this emphasis of ‘If you don’t do ATAR you’re not going to succeed’,” says Mrs McElroy. “There are just so many options, so many amazing opportunities for kids these days to go in different directions, if that’s what they want to do.”

Coombe says he had to work hard to keep up with his other subjects, but is so grateful he was able to work with the school to find the right program for his needs. “One thing I learnt is that anything’s possible. If you put your mind to it and you work hard – especially with somewhere like Carey and the way it backs its students – you can do anything you want.”

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