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Aaron Seeto

Thomas the Tank Engine and Thomas & Friends™ have long captured the imaginations of young kids across the world. And while childhood idols don’t usually shape your future career, that’s been the story for RT Health member Aaron Seeto.

Aaron is known to many as the winner of Channel 9’s 2022 reality series Beauty and the Geek. The series threw Aaron into the national spotlight, and he captured the audience’s collective heart with his gentle nature … and his love of all things train and rail.

We caught up with him recently to have a chat about his busy career, his time on Beauty and the Geek, and to suss out what’s next for Aaron Seeto.

Train obsessed. A childhood dream

Train watching, train collecting, train driving. 

From his early years, Aaron’s been obsessed by all things rail. He’s just always loved trains. From his childhood days of watching Thomas & Friends™ to now, decades later, fulfilling his ambition to become a train driver.

He’s bursting with pride and enthusiasm as he talks about his job as a train driver on Sydney’s busy city rail network.

“I just always wanted to be a train driver,” he says. “For me, that was what I always wanted to be.”

A Sydney native, born and raised in Ryde, Aaron’s now been behind the driver’s wheel for six years. He also put in two years as a station attendant as a steppingstone to his dream career.

Even after completing a university degree in IT, nothing could perturb Aaron from his original ambitions … and the trains that he loves.

Working out of Sydney’s Central depot, on varied shifts and routes, Aaron appreciates the day-to-day diversity in his work. But what he loves most is being one of the Aussies who keeps Australia moving.

“I love the responsibility. When you pull into a busy station in the morning you know all these people are waiting for you and counting on you,” he says. “That makes it great.”

Not content just to express his love of trains through his work, Aaron is also an avid collector – the proud owner of a cleverly curated range of later model trains (the more modern fleets), along with a few diesel locomotives.

And his impressive model collection isn’t just for show. One of his favourite jaunts is a trip to the Australian Model Railway Association in Mortdale, where he and his mates love to get together to put their collections on the tracks.

Aaron’s collecting mindset also spreads beyond trains; he has some other precious items – including model racing cars and, more recently, the Matildas collector card series.

The winning Geek

Seeing a random advertisement while casually watching TV one night had a profound impact on Aaron’s life.

The ad was for a new reality series called Beauty and the Geek.

His interest was piqued. Could this be for him?

While at first his friends and family thought his interest was ‘a bit of a laugh’, they soon realised Aaron was intent on applying to be among the new crew of reality geeks.

“When they saw it was actually happening, how far I got, their minds changed very quickly,” he says.

An extensive (and, Aaron admits, at times daunting) application and interview process helped the then 30-year-old to develop his self-confidence and foster new friendships.

And when he was selected to take part, he was thrilled.

“It was a really fun time. I went on the show to change myself, to build my confidence and put myself out there,” says Aaron, reflecting on his reality TV journey.

“The whole country is watching you and whatever you do is out there for a national audience,” he says.

And that only increased as the series was beamed across the nation. Aaron was back at work once the series started to air, and was buoyed by the support of his colleagues … and the public.

“It was great to have the support of my workmates. They got to watch with everyone else, so I loved how curious they were about the show and my journey,” he says.

Aaron and his castmates spent seven weeks filming the series. Lots of time to create great bonds and lifelong friendships.

Part of the show is a ‘geek makeover’, when professionals step in to help the geeks with their appearance.

Aaron counts this as one of the most valuable experiences, taking away a few tips he still stands by. He’s now more invested in his fashion choices.

“The makeover helped me make some of the changes I needed,” he says. “I just didn’t know how to make myself over … and then I had a professional helping me out. It was great.”

While some may be offended at being classed a ‘geek’, Aaron is more casual about the term, saying he sees it more as a term of endearment.

“A geek is just someone who’s just really passionate about something,” he says. “I’m totally a train geek!”

Aaron has held onto some great lessons (and some cherished friendships) gained during the Beauty days. He says the experience has developed his self-confidence, the way he expresses himself and his sense of curiosity. He says it’s been lifechanging.

“It was a really positive experience. I wouldn’t change a thing,” he says.

Private health cover – financial security

Aaron has a firm view on the value of private health cover and the support and security it provides him.

“I think private health insurance is important because when you know you’ve got an adequate level of cover, you know you’re not going to be left majorly out of pocket for any big surgeries you might need.”

He also appreciates the savings he makes when it comes time for his dental and optical visits (and the glasses and treatments he needs).

He says it’s like a ‘safety blanket’.

“Knowing I’m covered for Extras and won’t have to pay thousands for the things I need alleviates the worry,” he says.

After sustaining a major dental injury early in high school, Aaron knows all about wanting to financially safeguard your health.

In Year 7, Aaron lost his front teeth during a school hockey game, sustaining extensive damage, and was rushed to the dentist for treatment.

However, he lived with a noticeable gap for years – traumatic during the formative teenage years.

He’s now working on having the damage permanently fixed and knows his health cover will help him.

Proud to be with RT

“Knowing there’s someone there who focuses on rail workers (plus the history with Eveleigh) made it a no-brainer for me. The long history and the connection with Eveleigh rail yards is fascinating,” he says.

“I’ve always seen health insurance out there for other occupations, so once I found out about RT, I knew it was for me.”

What's next?

Despite enjoying his time in the limelight, Aaron doesn’t hold any aspirations to be in the public spotlight, although he probably wouldn’t say no if an opportunity came knocking.

“I’m just really happy to get on with my life and my work these days,” he says.

There is ambition there, though … and that’s on further developing his career on the railways.

Aaron wants to work towards training to become a train-driving instructor and a driver assessor as his career progresses.

We wish him the best of luck.