Where are they now – David Pearce (SPC 1989-94)

May 8, 2024

The College recently reconnected with David Pearce (SPC 1989-94) who attended his 30-Year Reunion on the weekend and enjoyed the opportunity to tour the school, see so much that had changed and the level of investment in facilities for students and students, while at the same time see so many of the personalities from his school days who are unchanged.


David Pearce.


Where has life taken you since leaving SPC?

In terms of study, after I finished at St Pat’s in 1994, I completed a Bachelor of Mechanical Engineering at (what is now called) Fed Uni and later completed an MBA at RMIT in Melbourne.

David with his family.

I met my wife, Lumin, in 2009 while working in China and we now have three beautiful boys, William, 10, Alexander, 6, and Charlie, 4. We were living in Melbourne but made a tree change in 2021 by moving to 20 acres of bushland in Beaufort. The boys all go to school and kinder in Ballarat.

After graduating from university, I entered the Graduate Program in Product Development at Ford Motor Company in 1999 and worked as a mechanical engineer on the design of the Ford Falcon, Ford Territory and international vehicle programs, like the Ford Fiesta launched in India. I had the pleasure of working in various engineering and business roles in testing and development, engineering project management, Computer Aided Engineering and strategy. I then spent a few years working on global strategy with Ford teams in North America, Europe and Asia Pacific. All-in-all I spent 10 years working with Ford Motor Company.

I left Ford to establish a start-up business, converting photograph and film collections to digital formats. I operated the business with a business partner for two years and sold it in 2011.

David catching up with former classmates at his 30-Year Reunion at the weekend, including Krishneel Maharaj, Brendan Vanderkley and Anthony Santilli.

For the past 12 years I’ve been working for Australian Red Cross Lifeblood. We support Australians who together make over a million blood donations each year and we manufacture biological products for Australian patients. I have helped Lifeblood with business planning and strategy, establishing new services like Lifeblood Milk, and am now a director looking after innovation and business design.

I led the team that established Lifeblood Milk, a national network of breastmilk collection and processing centres, and it’s been one of my career highlights.

We learned that babies born very premature (less than 32 weeks gestation) benefit from access to donated breastmilk. It significantly improves their health outcomes and can even be lifesaving. Lifeblood now collects and supplies over 4,000 litres of donated breastmilk each year and almost all premature babies across Australia now have access.


What are your fondest memories of your time at St Patrick’s College?

Some of my fondest memories of St Pats are things like the school winning Head of the Lake in 1994, playing in the 1st XI soccer final against Westbourne in 1994 (and winning), and pretty much every Speech Night and performance while I was at school. I met some great people who I am still close friends with to this day and others that I see in different roles in the community.

David was a member of the 1st XI Soccer BPSA premiership team in 1994.

I remember a hard learned lesson in woodworking with Mr (Malcolm) Barrins. We carved ships using chisels in one class and Mr Barrins made it very clear that we were to keep both of our hands on the chisel while using it. Well, I didn’t, and I sliced a decent cut in the palm of my hand and bled all over the floor. While unfortunate at the time, I reflect on this often as a lesson about safety and I think it has really helped shape how I look at risk, safety and wellbeing in the teams and projects I lead.

I fondly remember the handball courts, the fun and mischief and relationships formed playing this game.

I have a lot more memories and stories from my time at SPC.

David, pictured in his Year 12 class photograph in 1994. Many of these students returned for their 30-Year Reunion at the weekend.

Which teacher from your time at SPC had the greatest impact on you? Why?

I often think about my Year 8 homeroom teacher, Kelvin Porter, and his influence on the trajectory of my education (and life) in what I’d describe as a Sliding Doors moment in my time at St Pat’s. My outlook on the world changed in Year 8 after some coaching conversations from “Mr Porter”.

He sat me down after class one day, when I’d been distracted and stirring up mischief, and he helped me see that I had a choice: To waste my time, his time, and the opportunities at school, or, to apply myself and learn with purpose.

For the first time he helped me feel accountable for my own learning, to care about the results I achieved at school and most of all, to think about the person I would become. I truly feel like the course of my life changed for the better that day.

I had lots of other wonderful teachers at St Pats too.


If you could pass on one message to the students of today, what would it be?

I would encourage the students of today to find what they love doing, their passions, the things they are great at and build a life around it.

David, pictured in the Year 12 prizewinners photograph, as published in the 1994 College Annual.