Desmond Joseph (Joe) Delaney AO (SPC 1943-44)

February 14, 2024

Joe Delaney AO.

Joe Delaney, honoured as a SPC Legend alongside fellow Old Collegian David Parer at the 2016 Legend Dinner, along with Daniel Butler (Young Achiever) and Howard Clark (Facere et Docere staff award).

We are saddened to learn of the passing of College SPC Legend Desmond Joseph (Joe) Delaney AO (SPC 1943-44) on 3 February 2024, aged 97 years.
Better known as Joe, a Funeral was held at Our Lady of Good Counsel Catholic Church in Deepdene on 12 February.
Joe was honoured for his work as a top-level transport bureaucrat, and more so for his post-retirement volunteer efforts working in high administrative positions on various boards at iconic Victorian institutions.
Joe was a boarder at SPC for two years in 1943 and 1944. A solid academic achiever, Joe recorded the fourth highest academic score in his Matriculation year.
In his time at St Patrick’s Joe was a councillor in the St Vincent de Paul Society, the Sodality of Our Lady, and the Holy Name Society. He was also a member of the choir, and the senior Literary and Debating Society.
“The members of the (St Vincent) Conference performed acts of charity by visiting the Base Hospital weekly, and Nazareth House and the Benevolent Home on alternate Sundays,” it reads in the 1944-45 College Annual.
“The office bearers for 1944 were: Joe Delaney, President; John McArthur, Treasurer, and Frank Nugent, Secretary. The number of members was increased from eight to fourteen, and a keen interest was displayed by all members in the visitation work.”
Joe also competed in the college athletics and captained the second eighteen football team. Later in life he also played football for an SPC Old Boys team in the Amateurs competition in Melbourne.

Joe pictured in his matriculation class photograph in the 1944 College Annual.

After leaving school, Joe held various titles including being the Chief Engineer for the Victorian Transport Commission and the Director of the Melbourne Transportation Study in the 1960s, the Chief Transport Planner for the Commonwealth Bureau of Roads, the Director of the Victorian Coordination Council and the Director of Resources and Development for the Department of Premier and Cabinet.
In retirement, Joe was the President of the Mercy Hospital For Women Board for 15 years, was the founding Chairperson of the Caroline Chisholm Centre for Health Ethics, was a Senator for the Australian Catholic University and chair of its Victorian Chapter and was also a member of the Historic Buildings Council of Victoria.
In 2000, Joe was awarded an OAM for service to the community through the Victorian Catholic health and aged care system, particularly relating to restructuring the Mercy health care service and expanding the range and location of facilities available to Victorians.
He was honoured as a SPC Legend in 2016.
Throughout his life he kept close contact with many Old Boys through a friendship network which met monthly at the Harp Hotel in Kew.

Joe was focused on community from an early age, as president (and earlier treasurer) of the St Vincent de Paul Society, as pictured in the 1944 College Annual.