Where are they now – John Lloyd (SPC 1961-67)

August 7, 2018

The College recently reconnected with John Lloyd (SPC 1961-67), who kindly returned to the College recently to talk to some of our current students. John recently announced his resignation as the Australian Public Service Commissioner – one of the nation’s most senior public servants. He shares his plans for retirement, which still involves fighting for a fair workplace relations system, as well as some of his fondest SPC memories and the teacher who had the most profound impact on him.

Where has life taken you since leaving SPC?

Life for most people takes you on a journey that is unplanned, challenging and generally fufilling. That has been my experience. A good home and family is important.

I have had a career that has taken me to many places both in Australia and overseas. Most of my career has been in workplace relations and the public service. I have worked in Melbourne, Canberra and Perth as well as spending a lot of time at many conferences and meetings overseas.

My current job is Australian Public Service Commissioner. This means I am one of Australia’s most senior public servants. I am responsible for ensuring the Australian Public Service operates effectively and professionally. I have had a range of other senior positions including Australian Building and Construction Commissioner and Senior Deputy President of the Australian Industrial Relations Commission.

I plan to retire from full-time employment in August 2018. My career aspirations at age 69 are to move on from full-time employment. I intend to resume voluntary work helping people with mental impairment. I also expect that I will continue to argue for an Australian workplace relations system that is fair and encourages growth in jobs, investment and the nation’s wealth.


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

St Patrick’s was an enjoyable and fulfilling part of my life. You grew up with great friends and good role models. You were encouraged to succeed in studies, sport and life. It was a time to embrace a physical and mental approach to life that was healthy. You were encouraged to be robust and compassionate.

I suppose the most enjoyable memories relate to sport.

My first game with the First XVIII and rowing in the first crew.

We had a culture that places a high value both on friendship and not taking ourselves too seriously. I think those attributes made life at school an enjoyable experience.


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

Br O’Malley without doubt. He taught us towards the end of his career. The man’s unique strength of character, decency and genuine interest in the boys shone through.

I was in the first class that Peter Farley taught. He was unique with a blend of firmness and friendship.


How has your education shaped your professional life?

My education taught me to be resilient and determined. To understand that to compete is more important than winning. To stand up for what you believe is right. Perhaps most importantly to be understanding and care for those who face trials and tribulations in their life.


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

Have the confidence to -have a go-. You can make a difference and influence others by standing up for what you believe in. Don’t be afraid to embrace opportunities; they will often be unexpected and attended by uncertainty. If you are prepared to work and respect others you will succeed. Family and friends are more important than career.