Where are they now – Tiernan Somers (SPC 2012-17)

February 19, 2018

We catch up with Tiernan Somers (SPC 2012-17) who returned as a staff member in the Mission team in 2018 as the Faith in Action Trainee. Tiernan is now studying a Bachelor of Community and Human Services and hopes to attain his Master’s Degree specialising in Social Justice and Human Rights. Tiernan tells us more about his time post-SPC and some of his favourite school memories.


Tiernan Somers in 2017.

Tiernan Somers.


Where has life taken you since leaving SPC?

Since leaving SPC I remained in Ballarat, maintaining strong friendships with members of my cohort who I catch up with regularly, often leading to conversations about our experiences at the College: both good and bad! I spent the year after graduating from SPC working as a staff member at the College as a Faith in Action Trainee, in a new position which assisted the Mission Team in facilitating social justice activities both in and around the College. The year after, I dedicated myself to “living” my life, and my partner and I sought out experiences and chased them. This included travelling, skydiving, swimming with sharks and exploring nature.
In this time, I also thought more about my career pathway, delving into the realms of Astronomical and Space Sciences; however, in 2020 I have settled on studying a Bachelor of Community and Human Services where I hope to further attain a Master’s degree specialising in Social Justice and Human Rights.


What are your hopes and aspirations for the future?

Following this year, I will be attending the University of Melbourne to study a Bachelor of Arts. From there, I hope to attain a degree in Law and eventually proceed into the field of Human Rights.


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

Indoubitably my most treasured memories at SPC are those I have with my friends. Particularly, playing soccer at lunchtime on the Jo Walter Field, a seemingly harmless occasion which evolved into an overly-competitive battle of grit and determination to be victorious when the final bell went at the end of the session.


Did you have a nickname at school?

I never imagined I would receive a sobriquet given the uniqueness of my name. However, in a way that only Paddy Boys know how, I left the College with several nicknames including: T, Tree, and most commonly, Nan.


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

I have no doubt in my mind that Art Nichols was the most influential teacher I had in my years at the College. He is the one who introduced me to Social Justice and his indefatigable passion for the movement along with his unwavering calmness inspired me to be a better man.


How has your time at SPC shaped your professional life and personal values?

Professionally, St Patrick’s College has instilled in me the values of respect, compassion, comradery, honesty and integrity; all qualities which have allowed me to maintain proper etiquette in the workplace leading to the development of genuine relationships with fellow staff members. Through my many experiences with teachers and others alike I learned to uphold these values always, ensuring that I treat all people with the dignity that they deserve.


What do you hope to impart on students as an Old Collegian returning as a staff member?

Whilst I cannot offer students the same wisdom that their teachers can, I hope to be able to provide boys with a relatable figure they can approach and speak to when they have questions or need advice. As their contemporary, I feel I can be a more informal source of information and a valuable guide to making the most out of their time at SPC.


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

As previously alluded to, I implore all students to participate in as much as they can at the College. Be involved in sport, the arts, social justice and always be welcome to trying new activities: your time at the College will go quicker than you want it to so make the most of it while you’re there. And above all else, always be there for your mates; even when they don’t want you to be.

Also, you have but planted the seeds of your life in school, take the necessary time to reflect upon and nurture this seed; for no tree gave fruit before it gave the branches on which it could grow.

Do not underestimate the power of a gap year, or even multiple. Ensure that you are following your own dream and not someone else’s – whether this means pursuing a trade, a university degree, a career in music or a TAFE course. You are the author of your life, write the story you want to be in.