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Where are they now - James Dean (SPC 1993-98)

author: Lorrie Liston

6 May

Where are they now - James Dean (SPC 1993-98)

The College reconnects with James Dean (SPC 1993-98), pictured with his daughter Charlotte, who is now a registered nurse in Queensland but likes to test his body to the limit, racing in several marathons and ultra-marathons including the Marathon Des Sables (a 250km multi stage race through the Moroccan Sahara Desert over six days).

Where has life taken you since leaving SPC?
I went on to do a Bachelor of Nursing, and currently work as a registered nurse in the Emergency Department of Redcliffe Hospital in Queensland. I have been married to my wife Tania since 2005 and have two kids Charlotte and Evelyn. We lived in London for five years, using it as a base to travel the world. I also took up running and have completed several marathons and ultra-marathons including the London Marathon, and the Marathon Des Sables (a 250km multi stage race through the Moroccan Sahara Desert over six days). More recently I completed a Certificate III & IV in Fitness and do personal training in my spare time.

What are your favourite memories of your time at St Patrick’s College?
* Playing hockey, and being part of the Premierships 1st XI hockey team in 1996
* Year 9 camp
* School play (Away) in 1998

Which teacher from your time at SPC had the greatest impact on you? Why?
Mr David Walker - he gave me the chance to join the 1st XI hockey team when I was in Year 10. That moment changed my life as we went on to win the grand final that year (one of my happiest memories) and I gained a new confidence and attitude to life through playing hockey under his guidance. Many of the things I have achieved in life I can attribute to the confidence I gained from being part of that team, and being trained by Mr Walker.

How has your education shaped your professional life?
Being at St Patrick’s provided both a formal and informal (trials of being a young kids in an all-boys school) education in how to become an adult. I remember it was always stressed that we were young men, even in Year 7, and should behave that way. While it was not always an easy place to be, it certainly shaped my attitudes and beliefs. Many of the hardest challenges in my life I have completed are as a result of what I learned from my experiences at St Patrick’s College.

How has your time at SPC shaped your personal values and your family life?
I had two very extreme types of experiences at St Patrick’s. On one side I was captain of hockey, member of the SRC, achieved a reasonable academic record, and my core group of friends are still part of my life to this day. On the other side I was the subject of bullying, came from a lower socio-economic background, and never fit in with the popular crowd. That diverse spectrum of experience certainly shaped my personal values. I learned the importance of tolerance, and of standing up for others unable to do so for themselves. I also gained an appreciation for the importance of hard work in the face of adversity, and that while not all challenges can be conquered, sometimes the most important thing is not overcoming a challenge, but facing up to it in the first place, and having the courage to try. It's an ethos that I try to teach my kids, and that I continue to live by today.

If you could pass on one message to the students of today, what would it be?
Don't pay attention to those who try to put you down, and don't stress so much about not knowing where you want to go in life. Real life begins after secondary school, in a world full of possibilities, travel, and other adventures. Yes, good grades matter if you want to be a doctor or a lawyer, but success is not always about getting the best paying job, and there is plenty of time to figure out what you want to be. Just try your best, study to the best of your ability, get involved in something extracurricular, whether it be sports, music, performing arts, anything that gives you another focus other than your studies. Support your fellow students, go out of your way to make the lives of those around you better, even if it may not be the popular thing to do. Make memories worth looking back on, and above all, don't take things too seriously.