Where are they now – Joseph Connellan (SPC 1972-75)

February 19, 2024

The College recently reconnected with Old Collegian and former boarder Joseph Connellan (SPC 1972-75) who is inspired by helping others and the mantra that “one person can make a difference”.


Joseph Connellan in Rome.

Where has life taken you since leaving SPC?

After a false start working in banking and investment, I began a career in working for better housing for people, especially for those with disability. That led me to roles leading not-for-profits and working for and within government. I maintain that interest through pro bono advice and serving on the board of a disability charity as it restructures.


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

Tony Benson’s response to adversity had a great impact when an injury prevented him from a medal chance at the 1972 Munich Olympics. It was a lesson about acceptance and perseverance.


How has your education shaped your professional life?

Different parts of my formal education have contributed to different parts of my professional life: a secondary education laying the foundation for tertiary, a TAFE certificate giving me practical business skills, an Accounting degree demystifying the flow of money, a Masters in Social Sciences illuminating the world of policy and two very different short courses.

The first was the Directors Course by the Australian Institute of Company Directors, which puts students face-to-face with some of Australia’s most experienced business leaders.

The second was the Harvard Business School – Strategic Nonprofit Management course, which brings together not-for-profit leaders worldwide in a setting of almost unimaginable wealth and influence.

The reality, of course, is that my education largely came from the informal: friends and colleagues, successes and failures.


Joseph, pictured in his Form 3 class photograph, as published in the 1972 College Annual.

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

One person can make a difference. I am inspired by my Great Aunt, Dr Sr Mary Glowrey, a Birregurra-born doctor who went to India in 1920 and founded the Catholic Health Association of India (CHAI), whose members today care for at least 21 million people annually.

She is just the second Australian-born person to be officially considered for canonisation. I am sure other members of her family have attended St Pat’s over the years.

To learn more about Joseph’s Aunty Mary, please click here

Joseph Connellan, pictured in his HSC class photo, in 1974. Joseph was a boarder from Balranald, in New South Wales.

Joseph was a member of the hockey team throughout his time at SPC.

Joseph also enjoyed cricket, and is pictured in the Under 14 XI SPC team in the 1972 College Annual.