Where are they now – Pat Nolan (SPC 2002-07)

April 27, 2020

The College recently reconnected with Pat Nolan (SPC 2002-07) who is now working as deputy editor of The Courier newspaper. The coronavirus crisis has had massive implications on the media industry, with Pat and his staff working individually at home to produce the regional daily since the beginning of March due to COVID-19.


Pat Nolan pictured on one of his overseas holidays.

Where has life taken you since leaving SPC?
Straight after school I moved down to Geelong where I completed my Bachelor of Arts, majoring in media and communications. I had a great time living the uni lifestyle down there for a few years, living with a group of friends from the same year at SPC; Kyle Foley, Steve Edwards and Travis Emtsis. I moved back to Ballarat in 2010 after landing my first full-time job at The Courier newspaper. Almost 10 years later I am still at The Courier, where my position is now Deputy Editor. I now live in Delacombe with my partner, Holly. Although I haven’t moved far away from home base to live, I love travelling and have enjoyed four fantastic trips overseas, including South America, Asia and Europe.


How is the coronavirus presently affecting your work and industry?
Almost every business is feeling the impact of COVID-19 and the media is no exception. Although it has been the busiest time I can remember in my 10 years of work, the financial side of the business is suffering immensely. There have been a lot of regional newspapers forced to stand down temporarily (hopefully), while television and radio are also struggling with a severe downturn in advertising revenue.

Luckily The Courier continues to operate as normal both in print and online, but it is quite different behind the scenes. Our entire newspaper has been produced by staff working individually at home since the beginning of March, which is something that would have been unthinkable five years ago. It certainly has its challenges, but shows just how versatile the media industry needs to be.


What are your fondest memories of your time at St Patrick’s College?
The fondest memories are definitely of the friendships you make along the way. I think the latter years in particular were the most enjoyable because by that stage you have an entire year level of people you’ve got to know well over the journey. A few of the Year 12 events, including the night of Head of the Lake and the last day of school will live long in the memory.


Pat Nolan pictured in his Year 7 photo in the 2002 College Annual with Howard Clark, pictured far right, as his homeroom teacher.

Which teacher from your time at SPC had the greatest impact on you? Why?
Howard Clark. I know I wouldn’t be alone in drawing inspiration from the way Howard lives his life, given the health battles he has faced for so long. Howard was my homeroom teacher in Year 7 and really set the tone for my time at St Pat’s. Even nowadays I bump into him around Ballarat and we always have a chat and he asks after myself and my family.


How has your education shaped your professional life?
I guess it taught me to think laterally and accept there are multiple ways to approach things. In media, there is not always a clear right or wrong answer. Keeping an open mind is always essential.


How has your time at SPC shaped your personal values and your family life?
The values of looking after others and caring for your mates has stuck with me since leaving school. To this day, most of my closest friends are boys I went to school with and those relationships have already lasted more than 15 years now.


If you could pass on one message to the students of today, what would it be?
Just to soak up every day you have at school and participate in as many different things as you can. Sometimes it can seem a drag from day to day but once those six years are gone, you can’t get them back.