Where are they now - Chris Burke (SPC 1986-91)
author: Lorrie Liston
The College recently reconnected with Chris Burke (SPC 1986-91) who has worked in bars, acted on the popular TV show Neighbours and now runs a management and technology consulting firm with 120 staff and offices over the globe. Chris candidly shares that his best friends to this day are all SPC boys and he fondly remembers taking typing and home economic classes to practice his chat up lines on the Loreto girls!
Where has life taken you since leaving SPC?
Since leaving St Patrick’s, I stopped and started my degree working in bars and doing the odd acting job (TV show Neighbours) before completing a Bachelor of Commerce (Accounting/Law) in 1997. Education wise I followed up over the next decade by completing a Masters of Management and MBA and qualified as a CPA. Curiosity and my career took me to London to run technology projects in the banking sector before returning to Sydney and Melbourne for four years. In 2005 I returned to London and have been based there ever since. In 2010 I launched a management and technology consulting firm, Brickendon, and now have 120 staff with offices in London, New York, Boston, Toronto, and satellite offices in Raleigh, Warsaw and Kraków. I am married to a Sydney girl and have three fabulous kids. We are planning a move home in the next few years.
What are your favourite memories of your time at St Patrick’s College?
So many great memories from such a fabulous time in my life. To list a few:
* friendships that have lasted more than 30 years. My best friends, although we all lived and travelled to different parts of the world, are all St Patrick’s boys.
* to see us win the Head of the Lake in 1990 after 29 years was incredible.
* Loreto girls! I remember taking typing and home economics classes as electives just to be able to be at Loreto and try out my best chat up lines!
Which teacher from your time at SPC had the greatest impact on you? Why?
Brother Breach, who taught me to be strong yet polite and always be a gentleman no matter what. And that at any age you can accomplish anything. Pure inspiration!
How has your education shaped your professional life?
We were taught to consistently apply yourself to the job at hand. This plus the high standards at St Patrick’s have meant that when we left at the end of 1991 we were prepared for anything that life throws at you.
How has your time at SPC shaped your personal values and your family life?
St Patrick’s is full of honest hard working people from good families. As you get older in life those values (honesty, integrity, hard work, courtesy, politeness) are all that really matters in friends and business relationships. People can pull a swifty on you once, but that is short term and they never succeed long term.
If you could pass on one message to the students of today, what would it be?
Life will throw all sorts of challenges at you and the only thing that matters is to believe in yourself and work consistently to achieve your goals. Boys understand that a top AFL sportsman like Gary Ablett has needed to work for years to refine his skills to get to the top. This is no different in all aspects of life. Working consistently at your relationships (family, spouse, friends), your career, your health and fitness and your life will be amazing. But it won’t happen overnight. Consistency - put the time and focus into each area and your life will be amazing.