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Where are they now - Ben Barlow (SPC 1985-87)

author: Lorrie Liston

23 Jul

Where are they now - Ben Barlow (SPC 1985-87)

The College is reconnecting with Ben Barlow (SPC 1985-87) who learnt much about mateship and leadership through his boarding years at SPC.


Where has life taken you since leaving SPC?

I finished at SPC and went to university, completing B.Ec LaTrobe and M.Bus.(Agribusiness) Monash. I was a Fellow of the Australian Rural Leadership Foundation and had a 21-year banking career that led to executive roles here and overseas. I was involved in the acquisition and aggregation of three holdings comprising 80,000 acres at Hay NSW. Extensive travel domestically and overseas during my career for many years saw family consolidation at “Ulonga" Hay from 2012 to 2015 and I consequently sold “Ulonga” Hay to Macquarie Bank’s Paraway Pastoral Co. in 2015. I now reside on the Murray at “Kunanadgee” Corowa and presently spend my time between managing various investments in agribusiness, water, renewables and related non-executive director roles.

I am the chairman of Local Land Services, Western NSW, deputy chairman of Murrumbidgee Irrigation Limited, non-executive director of the Australian Wool Network, director of Swiim Systems LLC Colorado USA, managing director of The Agricultural Investment Company of Australia Pty Ltd (AICA), member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors (GAICD), vice president of the Hay Jockey Club, committee member of the Corowa Racing Club and a member of the Rural Fire Service of NSW, Hamilton Club (Vic), Waradgery Club (Hay) and Australian Club Sydney NSW. 


What are your favourite memories of your time at St Patrick’s College?

I don’t have any bad memories of St Patrick’s… only feelings of homesickness earlier on. Best memories were the mateship and the sharing of experiences that have led to the foundation of lifelong friendships. It was a bloody lot of fun when you think back and reflect on what happened. 

Which teacher from your time at SPC had the greatest impact on you? Why?

Peter Farley - tough but fair and Nellie McDonald for the same reason. 

Bob Aron of course, for his ability to lock in what was important amongst all the noise of adolescence.

Br Breech for teaching me the ability to influence a forum by what I said, how I said it and moreover….. the power of being respectfully strong by way of putting the head into gear before the mouth.


How has your education shaped your professional life?

I learnt that leadership is about leading through others and that leadership is a team effort. No leader leads if they lose their team on the trip.

How has your time at SPC shaped your personal values and your family life?

SPC taught me that relationships are about spiritual growth. I have been married for a long time, I have four terrific kids and we gain our strength as a family unit through solidarity and compassion and a willingness to actively forgive transgressions and learn from them. 

If you could pass on one message to the students of today, what would it be?

You will learn through others if you listen and observe. 

Form your values through experience and don’t compromise on your value system. 

People will rely on you to be consistent, fair minded and will respect you if you can walk in their shoes while formulating your views and opinions. 

Be careful with social media and never put into the cybersphere what you don’t want to see on the front page of the Sydney Morning Herald at some time in the future!