Where are they now - James McMaster (SPC 2006-10)
author: Lorrie Liston
The College recently reconnected with James McMaster (SPC 2006-10), who worked hard on his goals and is now fulfilling his dream working in Canada as an intensive care nurse. James shares his many happy memories of his time at SPC and encourages current students to “set the bar high, set yourself goals and strive to achieve them”.
Where has life taken you since leaving SPC?
Life after SPC has been a rollercoaster for me. I attended and graduated from Australian Catholic University, Ballarat with a Bachelor of Nursing. I then moved to Geelong to work as a registered nurse at St John of God, Geelong.
I worked there up until February 2018. During that time, I completed a post-graduate certificate in Intensive Care Nursing; enabling me to work in Intensive Care Units (ICU) all over Australia. As well as studying and working, I was also planning to move to Canada and work as an ICU nurse. Which is exactly where I am now and writing this.
Moving to Canada and working as a nurse has been a dream and goal of mine for many, many years. And I am so grateful to be fulfilling it. My current place of residence is a town called Kingston in the Providence of Ontario. It’s 2.5 hours east of Toronto and three hours west of Montreal. I am working at Kingston General Hospital in the ICU.
What are your fondest memories of your time at St Patrick’s College?
My fondest memories at SPC include being involved in the Basketball team that made it to College Nationals competition in Bendigo. Being involved in the Year 10 1sts Head of the Lake crew. This also included the build-up to boot race; the war cries and the schooling community getting around the event was phenomenal. The school formal organised with Loreto College. Charity events and organisations such as the St Vincent de Paul Society, where we would help the less fortunate and assist younger kids in St Albans with their studies as well as the Edmund Rice Day Walkathon.
Which teacher from your time at SPC had the greatest impact on you? Why?
A teacher that really pushed me to achieve my dreams and goals is Damian Kinnersly. We often would talk during Physical Education classes about what I wanted to do post-high school. I don’t remember what we spoke about (ha ha), but I do remember it was with me wanting to be a nurse and what goals I should set for myself to achieve them. He was a big believer in setting goals, because once you achieve them, it is very satisfying. He was right!!
How has your education shaped your professional life?
It goes with the slogan; “Ballarat’s best for boys”. I couldn’t agree more.
I started at SPC halfway through Year 8. The contrast from the school where I was beforehand to then starting at SPC was astronomical and definitely the right move for me. The teaching staff knew how to cater for young men; the teaching strategies and how to conduct a class of 20-25 boys is no small task! Without SPC’s teaching guidance and knowledge, who knows where I would be today. Maybe I wouldn’t have reached/achieved my goals? Maybe I wouldn’t be living in Canada and nursing like I am now? Who knows. All I know is, that the staff at SPC made me a better person, as without their encouragement and role model attributes I wouldn’t be the person I am today.
If you could pass on one message to the students of today, what would it be?
For the lads attending SPC today, all I can say is study hard if that’s what you want to do. Play sports if that’s what you want to do. If you believe that a trade is for you; do it! But just know, the support you’ll have on your side at SPC will always be there.
Set the bar high, set yourself goals and strive to achieve them.
If I have learnt anything in the past few years, is that life can be short. As a nurse I see young and old people. I see good and bad things. Unfortunately, it's the bad things that make me realise how lucky I am to be doing what I am doing, because you never know when that could all change.
Live your life to the fullest. SPC has an abundance of wealth and knowledge to impress on you. Grasp it and take its ideas on board. Without SPC, I wouldn’t have made it to where I am in my life today. And for that, I say thank you.