Where are they now - Joe McCracken (SPC 2003-05)
author: Lorrie Liston
The College reconnects with Joe McCracken (SPC 2003-05), who is combining a teaching career with just become the youngest elected councillor in the Colac Otway Shire.
Where has life taken you since leaving SPC?
I've been to University and completed a Bachelor of Commerce & Bachelor of Management before working as an accountant in Ballarat for some time. I then went back to University (ACU) and studied a Dip Ed, then started working for Trinity College Colac in 2013. I am currently the mentor/induction coordinator and will also be the head of Humanities from 2017 onwards. I teach VCE Politics along with other commerce and humanities subjects. In October 2016 I was elected to represent Colac Otway Shire as a Councillor in the local government elections. As much as my political philosophy is shaped by my family and background, it was also shaped by my time at SPC. I was very much unaware of politics up until VCE, however when I studied economics I could see the link between government policy and economic outcomes - and it intrigued me. That time was very much a formative time for me and it's helped shape the way in which I view the world to this very day.
What are your favourite memories of your time at St Patrick’s College?
I have many favourite memories from my time at SPC. I will never forget my first class with Ian McKail. Year 10 English - wow.
Which teacher from your time at SPC had the greatest impact on you? Why?
Geoff Brodie, Narelle Dixon and Narelle McDonald were all great influences on my education. Their passion, professionalism and good humour helped me get through VCE. Geoff Brodie has a seriously warped sense of humour that I connected with and found utterly appealing. Narelle Dixon is an all-round good person, easy to talk to, helpful and extremely genuine. Narelle McDonald was a master in her field, she knew texts books from start to finish, and had an encyclopedic knowledge of Shakespeare.
How has your time at SPC shaped your personal values and your family life?
SPC helped me to form my own personal opinions and ideas, to run my own race and not go along with the crowd. It's important to be an individual - there's no point pretending we're all the same, we're not. But each person has talents and skills, and you have to build on those talents and skills to shape your own future. The only way you do that is through hard work and persistence. The only limit to your life is your desire and imagination. SPC helped me to come out of my shell and helped me realise I could make a difference in the world.
If you could pass on one message to the students of today, what would it be?
Try everything, do everything. Leave no stone unturned. Ask questions, even if they may appear silly - don't die wondering. Put the hard work in now because it does pay off in the long run. My biggest regret is that I didn't get as involved as what I could have - don't ever let any opportunity go to waste.