Where are they now - Alastair Lee (SPC1989-90+)
author: Lorrie Liston
The College reconnects with Alastair Lee (SPC 1989-90 and 1992-93) who travels the globe in his role as the University of Tasmania’s Associate Director for Alumni Relations.
Where has life taken you since leaving SPC?
After finishing at the College in 1993, I went on to complete a Bachelor Commerce/Law at Deakin University. I then worked as a litigation lawyer with Clarke and Barwood Lawyers based in Colac and Geelong for three years. In 2001 I returned to Deakin to work within its Marketing Division and eventually went on to establish and manage its award-winning alumni program.
In 2014 I was enticed down to Hobart to work for the University of Tasmania, where I am currently the Associate Director for Alumni Relations and lead the delivery of the University’s alumni program to over 110,000 graduates globally. I am fortunate that I get to travel the world in my role and meet some of the most inspiring graduates doing great things in their communities.
What are your favourite memories of your time at St Patrick’s College?
Without doubt the lifelong friends I made there and the strong sense of community that SPC fostered. Another highlight was being in Year 12 when the College celebrated its centenary in 1993 – I still have all of the school photo taken that year. I’ve also been asked back on a number of occasions by the College to speak at events and perform music which I’ve always enjoyed and appreciated.
Which teacher from your time at SPC had the greatest impact on you? Why?
I was fortunate to have some wonderful teachers and it is impossible to narrow it down to one. Br Zoch was the best maths teacher I ever had, and others such as Gerard Murphy, Rob Meikle, Maureen Phelan, John Cosgriff, Kelvin Porter, Br Walsh, Tony Beggs and Peter Bergin were all fine educators who really cared about their students. I know we boys probably drove them up the wall at times, but their care for our education was always present.
How has your education shaped your professional life?
I went to three catholic secondary schools however SPC had the most profound impact and is the one I identify most closely with. I credit the College for giving me the tools to achieve my early career goals and it taught me the immense value of hard work, dedication and determination in life generally.
How has your time at SPC shaped your personal values and your family life?
The College instilled in me the importance of treating people with respect and empathy, and that it is your actions that define who you are, not your background or status in life.
Another wonderful piece of advice that was passed onto me from Br Zoch (who was well known for reciting many old sayings in his classes) was, ‘Thanks is a small word that takes little but means much.’ I still often bring this to mind in my dealings with people.
If you could pass on one message to the students of today, what would it be?
Work hard, work smart and act with honesty and integrity in all aspects of your life. Another very important piece of advice I can offer too, is to be good to your parents. (Mum still works at the College and may read this at some stage!)