Staff Profile: Alumni and champion Ironwoman Elle Hughes

Have you ever wondered what it’s like to burn 10,000 calories in one day?
What about the thought of running a marathon (that’s 42 kilometres) AFTER you cycled 180 kilometres AND swum 3.8 kilometres?

How long would that take?

For champion Ironwoman Elle Hughes, it takes approximately thirteen hours.

For the rest of us, it could take us until Christmas.
Elle Hughes is a former Southern Hills Christian College (SHCC) student, graduating back in 2009 when it was called Armadale Christian College.

Mr Scott Puzey was a ‘new’ Principal then, and the current Principal, Mr Paul Beacham, was teaching Media Studies and Metalwork.


After some wayward teenage years, her Year 12 teacher Judith Chambers, helped to point Elle in the right direction and her journey into working life and the dedication to succeed began.

Accomplishments in Accounting Administration and Ironwoman races led Elle to the top of her game, but the gruelling training schedules and the hours of solitude meant that her existence had to change.

“Leading into the World Championships, I realised that striving for anything that was self-centred would not be the fulfilment I was looking for. I realised that I needed God in my life. I came to the point where I could not do any of this on my own,” said Elle this week.

Elle had been a church-goer in her youth but had decided to stay away in her post-school years and had never returned. A trip to Riverview in 2019 changed that, and with her young son Zane (now three years old), Elle makes the weekly trip to the Burswood campus each Sunday under Pastor Steve McCready’s leadership.

“He’s a very personable guy. Each week it’s ‘Hi Elle’ and I love being a part of that community.”

Elle has now spent the last six months at Swan Christian College (SCC) under the tutelage of Mrs Erin Vallance in the Accounts Department as they work together.

“This is my return to work after my son was born. I really feel like God opened this door for me here at . I didn’t have all the skills I needed when I first looked at this role, but I’ve already learned so much. I feel like it’s a really special time right now.”

Where to from here for Elle?

“My goal is to support these students and families – even through this position is in the Accounts & Finance Department here at Swan. We deal with families from all parts of society and I can identify with some of the struggles that they are going through. I think I can identify with where they are at, which helps with the conversations and how we can all move forward with providing an excellent educational and life experience for these students and families.”

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