Graduate Testimonials

At Patrick’s College, we are very proud of our thousands of graduates. We hope you enjoy reading their inspiring stories below and we are currently working on acquiring more stories from graduates of 1923 to Present.

Nicole Craig-1
Nicole Craig, 1990 Graduate

“I knew I did not want to go to University and that I would end up doing office work and the College had a very good reputation.”

“I really liked the lessons. From memory, back then the focus was primarily shorthand and typing majority of the day with a small component of bookkeeping and personal development. I thought the College was a great stepping-stone from high school into the workforce and it set me up for the opportunities that followed.”

“Deborah Stonley from Minter Ellison came to speak to the students about the Junior Secretarial Program she was recruiting for which was being offered at Minter Ellison. I remember thinking to myself at the time I want one of the positions! After that day I really tried hard to get my speeds up for shorthand and typing and lucky for me when the time came to interview for Minters, I was successful and got one of the positions (alongside Belinda Selby!). I think about 10 of us girls from Patrick’s secured roles in the Junior Secretarial Program at Minter Ellison that year.”

“My understanding is that at the time Minters just recruited for the Program through the College. If it were not for the College, that opportunity would not have arisen for me.”

“My first job out of College (which I got through the College) was at Minter Ellison in their Junior Secretarial Program. I stayed at Minters for approximately 61/2 years. From there I went to London and spent 11/2 years living, travelling, and working abroad. In London I did temp and contract work for law firms including Norton Rose and Clifford Chance in between my travels.

“When I came back to Australia, I knew Deborah Stonley had moved law firms and was then the Head of HR at Henry Davis York, so I reached out to her and ended up working there for 191/2 years and eventually worked for their Managing Partner. I stayed with HDY through to their merger with Norton Rose Fulbright before I decided it was time for a change. In 2018 I moved to NAB to work for the EGM of Client Coverage in Corporate & Institutional Banking.

“Patrick’s brought me a great opportunity when I was a fresh faced 19yr old and it set me up for success and paved the way for where I am today.”

Lori Hession-1
Lori Hession, 1990 Graduate

“To be honest – I could not bear to stay at school for Years 11 & 12. My parents, of course, would not let me leave unless I was enrolled in an apprenticeship or something similar.    It was my mother’s concern when speaking to a friend that Patrick’s College came up – the rest is history!”

“I was genuinely interested in going! That in itself is huge when I was never interested in high school.   I also made two of the most beautiful lifelong friends that year.”

“Patrick’s certainly did help me find a job!! 30 years on and I am still in the same job – which I love!.”

“I have been Married for 25 years and have two beautiful children. I have also enjoyed many travels with the family and through work.”  

“I was so pleased to be able to send my daughter Emma Hession (2017) to Patrick’s.  As my parents still say to this day – Enrolling me in Patrick’s was the best decision they feel they ever made.  Now my husband and I say it is one of the best decisions we ever made for Emma!.”

Tracey
Tracey Harmston, 1989 Graduate

Wanting to enter the workforce in a secretarial role after completing the HSC, I looked into secretarial courses and Patrick’s was offering further education that would be beneficial for me before entering the workforce.”

“I liked the structure of the course, shorthand in the morning and typing (on an electric typewriter) in the afternoon.  The guidance by teachers in both areas to help motivate you to secure employment.  Not to mention the experience of navigating public transport to the City every day.  The College was located at St Patrick’s on the Hill between Wynyard and Circular Quay.”

“Graduating in November 1989 I immediately entered full time employment with a legal firm as a Junior Secretary in the City, quickly and happily moving up to work for the Senior Partner who was head of the Property division.   I was employed for 11 years ending my time there to start our family.”

“I have two grown daughters the eldest is in her final year studying at UTS a Bachelor of Business and my youngest is attending Patrick’s.”

“We have been fortunate to have travelled to some wonderful destinations as a family both in Australia and overseas due to my husband’s work.  I have continued to work in administration part time while the girls were at school and for the last 10 years have more than loved my administration position at a primary school,  St Patrick’s.”

“As I attended and now my daughter is attending Patrick’s I would have no hesitation in recommending Patrick’s to anyone seeking employment in administration.  The skills received will see you employed in this chosen field for as long as you wish to be employed.  That has always been my belief.”

Carolyn
Carolyn Cercone, 1982 Graduate

“I chose St Patrick’s Business College, now known as Patrick’s College, because of its reputation of excellence and the excitement of venturing into the city.” 

“My time at Patrick’s was an immense period of personal growth.  I commenced the year as a shy 16-year-old girl and ended the year with a belief in my abilities and a confidence which did not exist before I started. I have made lifelong friendships with students from the College.”

“I was valued, nurtured, and encouraged by my teachers which allowed me to reach my full potential, not only academically but personally as well.  I obtained an award for the highest shorthand speed at the College and received the award for the personal development assignment, being selected from over 200 students.”

“I was lucky enough to be the only candidate chosen that year to present to Boyd House & Partners, a law firm in the city.  The partners of the firm had a longstanding relationship with the College and trusted their judgment in selecting students for the firm. I commenced with Boyd House & Partners in 1982 as a Junior Secretary and am still employed with the firm to this day.  I have progressed to Personal Assistant/Paralegal to the Principal of the firm.  I have been very lucky to be able to develop a wide range of skills and knowledge in my nearly 40 years with the firm.  I have been given the freedom to take on responsibilities of legal work outside the scope of my role with the encouragement of my employer.”

I really can’t stress enough the value of being a Patrick’s College graduate.  The respect I was shown, and am still shown to this day, because I attended the College is something I did not expect.  It still comes up in conversation that I was a “St Pat’s girl” when I am introduced to other members of the legal profession.”

“I can still pick a “St Pat’s girl” to this day!  The attention to detail, work ethic and presentation are second to none.”

“I had two short breaks during my employment to start a family and returned to employment with Boyd House & Partners.  I have been lucky enough to enjoy leisure travel to many parts of the world, including the USA, the Pacific Islands, and the Bahamas.”

“My further education since leaving College has very much been my “on the job” training.  This experience has been invaluable and has allowed me to advance in the firm, particularly running the firm’s conveyancing practice.”

“I have recommended the College to many people over the years.  Whenever we needed new junior staff, we always looked to the College and were never disappointed.”