Where are they now - Brayden Ward (SPC 2011-16)
author: Lorrie Liston
The College recently reconnected with Brayden Ward (SPC 2011-16) who was led a varied career path since leaving school. Brayden has always held a strong social justice ethic and he recently returned to SPC to talk to our current students about their responsibility to help others.
Where has life taken you since leaving SPC?
My life after St Patrick’s didn’t exactly go the normal way for most students. I went to uni studying Outdoor Education and after a semester I decided uni just wasn’t for me. I didn’t like being in the lecture theatres with heaps of people and I just wasn’t engaging with the course or the uni structure.
I decided to start my workforce life so I got my first job at Mars Chocolate Australia, then moved onto the Ballarat North Waste Treatment Plant. I didn’t like the temporary casual positions I had at either job so I decide to get an Apprenticeship in Carpentry. I was absolutely loving it but a few incidents happened which left me feeling unsafe in the workplace so I left that position as well. Whilst finding my feet at my current position, I drove trucks for Victoria Ice and worked on a few farms in the Skipton/Streatham area. I finally found my home subcontracting for Rabbit Busters and making my own business, Vermin Hunters Pest Control. Between the two companies, we work for Parks Victoria, multiple councils around Victoria as well as farm contracts and private work. Ultimately I just had to try a few different types of jobs and careers before I found what I enjoyed.
What are your fondest memories of your time at St Patrick’s College?
It’s hard to pick one memory of St Patrick’s College, I enjoyed so many parts throughout my six years. From attending the East Timor Trip in Year 10 and the New Zealand Basketball Tour in Year 12, to the school spirit that the boys develop together during boat race week and throughout Year 12. All the school productions, all the experiences I had with the Social Justice program. The atmosphere that all the teachers create, especially in Year 12 is amazing. It’s very hard to narrow it down to one, it would definitely have to be my Year 9 class with Mr Silcock. The class we had, gelled together very quickly and the things we achieved in that year was incredible. The challenges Mr Silcock put us through in our fitness classes pushed our physical and mental boundaries and strengthened our resilience and ultimately made us better individuals. To finish off the year completing “The Ultimate” was definitely the highlight.
Which teacher from your time at SPC had the greatest impact on you? Why?
Every teacher I had in Year 12 made an impact in some way. Mr Chamings, Mr Shawcross, Mr Hutchins, Mr Magee, Mr Emerson, Ms Slater and Mr Nicholls - their support and guidance made all the difference to the stressful Year 12 journey.
The four teachers that had the biggest influences on me personally would be Mr Nichols, Mr Joyce, Mr Silcock and Mr McMahon. They didn’t just teach the content, they developed me as a person. Whether it was the support and guidance from Mr Nichols, Mr Joyce’s life lesson of “Do It Yourself - no one can do it for you”. This related to Year 12, but it also applied to the real world. Mr Joyce told us “No one is going to do it for you and if you want to get somewhere you have to put the effort in yourself and if you really want it, go for it and give it everything”. Mr Silcock developed my resilience and motivation which has helped me throughout life after Year 12. Mr McMahon put me back on track, when I was unsure about a few things and home life wasn’t great so Mr McMahon gave me all this focus and drive to smash out my last two years at the College.
How has your education shaped your professional life?
My education has shaped my professional life a lot. Without the personal changes made, which were influenced by those teachers that I mentioned earlier, I’m not too sure what the last few year would have looked like. Communicating with clients, coordinating jobs and conducting the work in the field, most of these skills were picked up or developed at SPC.
How has your time at SPC shaped your personal values and your family life?
My Year 12 year was full of family changes and without the support of Mr Chamings, Mr Busscher, Mrs Ryan and all my Year 12 teachers I would have been a train wreck. They helped pick me back up and get me through the remainder of the year and exams. I’m extremely grateful for all the support I received from all these staff members.
If you could pass on one message to the students of today, what would it be?
It would be don’t waste your time at St Patrick’s. You are given so many opportunities whether it’s overseas trips, every single sport you can imagine, music and performing arts, social justice, there’s just too many opportunities to name. I took part in every single opportunity thrown at me and got involved in everything! Don’t worry about what your mates think, it’s your choice, try something new and you might surprise yourself! In Year 7, Mr Michael Brady, told us “I’m a Paddy boy through and through and now so are you! So no matter where life takes you, no matter what’s going on in your life or how down in the dumps you get, just remember one thing that you will always belong to the three leaf clover. There will always be a home for you at St Patrick’s College.”