Where are they now - John Fogarty (SPC 1976-81)
author: Lorrie Liston
The College reconnects with John Fogarty (SPC 1976-81), who is the executive director of WA Hospitals – overseeing six private and one public hospital incorporating over 1900 beds. However John still finds time to be actively involved with St Patrick's College, as a founding member on the Chris Yeung Fund committee, which organises the hugely successful annual MENtal Brekky, raising vital awareness and funds for men’s mental health.
Where has life taken you since leaving SPC?
Immediately after leaving SPC I went to Melbourne University to study Science. Not my greatest decision!
With an ambition (I thought) to follow my brother Paul’s footsteps into Medicine, I studied Nursing.
Fairly quickly upon graduating I realised that I preferred the management side of health care and was reasonably good at it.
I worked in a number of senior management role at Royal Melbourne Hospital, joined the private hospital sector in 1998 and eventually found my way to the Catholic health care arena. I have worked for St John of God Health Care for all but two years since 2003. I had the great pleasure of being CEO of our Ballarat hospital from 2004 to 2011 during which time we undertook a $65 million redevelopment of the site. Being a Ballarat boy, my folks being great friends of the Sisters of St John of God, that period was one of the best of my career to date. After two years with Mercy Health in Melbourne as Chief Operating Officer I moved to Perth and back to St John of God in a role as CEO of our Murdoch Hospital and overseeing their Bunbury Hospital (run by Mark Grime – another SPC Alumni), Geraldton Hospital and the SJGHC Home Nursing business. In January 2017 I was promoted to my current role as Executive Director WA Hospitals – overseeing all the groups’ hospitals in WA. In WA we run seven hospitals – six private and one public incorporating over 1900 beds.
What are your favourite memories of your time at St Patrick’s College?
The friendships, the camaraderie, the diversity of experiences and personalities. Nothing could rival a War Cry on Boat Race Day – even though we collected no silverware during my time. Nor could much beat watching the 1st XVIII win almost every game they played.
Even today a get together with old friends is not complete with retelling a few of our “war stories”.
Which teacher from your time at SPC had the greatest impact on you? Why?
There were many but Peter “Jake” Farley had to be the one of the best. I only had him for Latin – but it was an entertaining mix of learning, humour and some occasional anger! But teaching boys in Year 9 must have been a nightmare for most of our teachers
How has your education shaped your professional life?
Certainly my formative years being spent at SPC are something I call on and regularly reflect upon regularly.
I think that the values that were instilled into us as boys remain with me. I have been working in Catholic health care for nearly 15 years and find the work I do resonates deeply with those core values.
How has your time at SPC shaped your personal values and your family life?
I certainly still appreciate the value that tradition and honouring the past play in one’s life – which I think was very much impressed upon us at school. Also learning to value friends and family because life is too short.
If you could pass on one message to the students of today, what would it be?
Find your passion and follow it – you may not find it while you are at school – I didn’t! So if the future isn’t clear when your time at SPC is up, that’s OK, you have so many other things to take from the College with you on life’s journey – and the SPC community will always be there for you.