Sharing early cheer at St Patrick’s Lunch and Class of 1964 Reunion

March 19, 2024

2017 College Captain Mitch Tuddenham was guest speaker at this year’s St Patrick’s Day Lunch.

Class of 2017 College Captain Mitch Tuddenham was an insightful and thought-provoking guest speaker at our 2024 St Patrick’s Day Lunch last Friday at the College’s OCA Pavilion.

Old Collegians and members of the SPC community listened with great interest to Mitch’s experiences since leaving SPC of travelling to the remote villages of Tanzania, in Africa, last year to learn more about the Maasai community as a volunteer in a cultural immersion program as part of his PhD studies.

The amazing experience follows on from a Bachelor of Arts with an Anthropology major at Deakin University, in Geelong, where Mitch also now teaches as well as completing his PhD.

Mitch in Tanzania, Africa last year.

This was after switching from a Psychology degree after the first year on realising he was more interested in learning more about witchcraft and magic in African Zandeland and the spirits of the Amazonian jungle.

For Mitch, “anthropology (has) opened my mind up to the near unlimited number of potential ways of being human”, he told the audience.

Mitch completed his Bachelor of Arts with an Anthropology major with First Class Honours, writing a short thesis about cryptocurrencies and what they mean for the contemporary human experience of the Global North.

With a strong desire to travel, Mitch said that his trip to Africa last year was “nothing short of life changing”.

“When I arrived, I was greeted by members of the community with a welcome dance. They were dressed up in their traditional clothing: wearing what they call a ‘Shuka’ – a colourful cloth that is typically red in colour, worn most commonly as a kind of shawl.

“The women wore an abundance of beads and jewellery, mainly around their necks or their wrists, that jingled as they danced. Most of the men carried the typical items of a Maasai warrior: a spear and shield, with one of them instead holding a ceremonial talking stick, that signified that person’s prestige in the community.

Mitch with the Maasai people.

“To welcome us, they began chanting in their language. Then came time for the jumping. A circle formed, and the Maasai warriors took turns at entering the middle and jumping as high as they could and slamming their feet on the ground to the rhythm of the chanting. These men are mostly quite tall and slender, but don’t let that fool you – some of them could jump as high as my shoulder.”

Mitch shared with the audience that the experience had taught him much.

Mitch with the OCA president Dr Charles Flynn.

“I am a big believer in the understanding of difference and in the value of non-Western knowledge, not just for our sake as Western people, but for the sake of humanity at large. In every other human being, there is the possibility for ourselves … Such recognition stimulates a greater understanding of our shared human condition, and my time with the Maasai certainly left me feeling closer to this broader experience of being human.”

Since returning from this life-changing experience, Mitch continues to be busy.

Mitch living out his dreams in Africa.

He teaches an anthropology class at Deakin and has recently contributed a chapter to an edited book that has just been published, focusing on cryptocurrencies.

He is also in the process of getting his honours thesis published in an academic journal.

Mitch also volunteers for a Humanitarian Intelligence organisation, related to aiding effective decision making around the delivery of humanitarian aid and and disaster relief.

He dreams of hopefully undertaking a post-graduate degree in Anthropology in the UK at some stage in the future and hopes to continue to learn more about the Maasai people and their nomatic lifestyle.

We thank Mitch for returning to the College and sharing his life with us.

You can read Mitch’s full speech by clicking on this link HERE


Barry Richardson (SPC 1961-64), Mick Martin (SPC 1955-64), John Borell (SPC 1964-65), Bob Moloney (SPC 1958-64), Bill Smurthwaite (SPC 1962-64, PY1965), Kerry Watson, Brian Doherty (SPC 1960-65), Peter Hynes (SPC 1962-63), Frank Rice (SPC 1954-64), David Parer AO (SPC 1962-64), Ian Basham (SPC 1958-64), Peter Zala (SPC 1954-64), Graeme Keating (SPC 1959-61, PY1964) and John McIver (SPC 1963-64).

It was also a pleasure to welcome members of the Class of 1964 for their 60-Year Reunion.

Enjoying the lunch are, from left, Kerry Watson, John Borell (SPC 1964-65), Brian Doherty (SPC 1960-65), Barry Richardson (SPC 1961-64), David Parer AO (SPC 1962-64), Peter Hynes (SPC 1962-63) and Ian Basham (SPC 1958-64).

We welcomed a number of former classmates back to the College, including Emmy Award-winning natural history filmmaker David Parer (SPC 1962-64), who was awarded an Officer of the order of Australia (AO) in this year’s Australia Day Honours for “distinguished service to wildlife cinematography, to literature as an author, and to the environment”.

A number of trophies from the Class of 1964’s era were on show, along with College Annuals, and a number of David Parer’s photographic prints which are normally on display in the school halls.

Guests were also treated to a tour of the College’s brand-new Performing Arts Centre, including the 700-plus seat auditorium.

Thank you to all our guests for joining us to share in some early St Patrick’s Day spirit last Friday.

Alan Jubb (SPC 1954-59) and wife Pat chat with Damian Goss (SPC 1962, PY1963).

Dennis Foley (SPC 1967-72) chats with Peter Wilson (SPC 1959-65)


Gavan Tellefson (SPC 1964-67) and Peter Howley (SPC 1963-66).

Adrienne and Kevin Leitch (SPC 1949-55) chat with Mike Hanrahan (SPC 1951-55).

Former Principal Br Bill Wilding chats with Kerry Armstrong, a member of the SPC Advisory Council.

Ted Vaughan (SPC 1952-56, PY1957), Brian Costigan (SPC 1952-55, PY1957) and Leon Gleeson (SPC 1950-55, PY1957).

College Principal Steven O’Connor, right, chats with Class of 1964 60-Year Reunion guests Peter Zala (SPC 1959-64) and Frank Rice (SPC 1954-64).


Class of 1964 classmates Mick Martin (SPC 1955-64) and Bob Moloney (SPC 1958-64) catch up at our St Patrick’s Day Lunch and 60-Year Reunion.

John Quinn (SPC 1952-56), Vincent Quinn (SPC 1954-59), John McIver (SPC 1963-64) and Peter Martin (SPC 1961-63).