Where are they now - Chris Boadle (SPC 1997-2002)
author: Lorrie Liston
The College reconnects with Chris Boadle (SPC 1997-2002) who is now working as a retail customer executive for NAB, but credits learning how to cook at St Patrick’s for helping him impress his now fiancé Rhiarna with his special ‘SPC brand’ of homemade chicken and corn risotto.
Where has life taken you since leaving SPC?
Since leaving St Patrick’s, I have completed a Double Degree (Commerce/Management) at the University of Ballarat (now Federation University). After graduating, I wasn’t quite sure what industry to move into, and I did a couple of short stints in sales roles before joining the NAB. I moved through some entry level roles fairly quickly and it was at the NAB that I found my passion for leadership and helping get the best out of others. I have done a variety of roles in nearly eight years with NAB. In my current role, I’m a Retail Customer Executive, where I oversee the operations and business performance of all our retail branches across greater South West Victoria.
What are your favourite memories of your time at St Patrick’s College?
· Attending my first boat race and marching from the school over to the lake with my mates, dressed up and screaming like mad men;
· Sprinting to the tuck shop every day to beat the line and get my chicken burger, donut and a bottle of Portello;
· Playing ‘downball’ most recess and lunchtimes. It’s amazing how many concrete surfaces you can turn into a downball court!
· Being in the swimming team every year and smashing all the other schools every carnival, being motivated by the famous annual speech delivered by Brother Brian Davis where he would scream at everyone ‘You’ve gotta swim ya bloody guts out!’;
· The Year 9 social with Loreto where I wore my dad’s shirt that was a million sizes too big;
· Learning how to make a Chicken and Corn Risotto in Food Tech. I tested it on my mum and she approved, and then it was the first meal I cooked for my now fiancé Rhiarna who also approved, so it’s really stuck with me!
· Winning the senior school’s basketball grand final with all my mates.
Which teacher from your time at SPC had the greatest impact on you? Why?
I think most of the teachers at St Patrick’s were probably glad to see the back of me, but I’d have to say Mr Watson (Andrew). He was my Year 12 Accounting teacher and he was just a quiet, unassuming guy who was always happy to help and had a really friendly nature.
How has your education shaped your professional life?
I think what education teaches you is that you get out what you put in. To get through VCE and achieve a result you want, you have to push outside your comfort zone at times to challenge yourself to think differently and learn new things. Even if it means doing something you don’t want to do, or make a sacrifice now to get an outcome later. I think that’s the same in your professional life, you will always reach a certain point where you are ‘unconsciously competent’ (on autopilot) and you need to challenge yourself to get outside your comfort zone and learn something new. I think this is why I’ve been able to move through various roles fairly quickly as I like to push myself.
How has your time at SPC shaped your personal values and your family life?
The entire six years were some of the best years of my life, a close group of my best friends from Year 7 I am still great friends with today, which says a lot about the strength of the bonds you make at SPC. I don’t have a family yet but my mates from St Patrick’s are more like brothers.
If you could pass on one message to the students of today, what would it be?
Enjoy your time because when you get into the real world, you’ll probably do anything to go back and experience it all again! The other thing I would say is that you need to have balance, there are so many opportunities SPC will give you along the way that you should make the most of that privilege. You might regret giving up on these to study ridiculous hours and burning yourself out just to get a score. Not getting the marks you need to get into a certain university/course is not the end of the world, if the first option doesn’t work out, there will always be another way!