Where are they now - Ashleigh Martin (SPC 1988-93)
author: Lorrie Liston
The College reconnects with Ashleigh Martin (SPC 1988-93), who has forged a career in the education sector and is now the vice principal of Caulfield Grammar School which boasts over 3200 students.
Where has life taken you since leaving SPC?
Whilst trying to forge a career in football, I attended university sporadically but eventually achieved my degrees. I started my teaching career at St Kevin's College under the leadership of Br Bill Wilding and Peter Tellefson, who both have strong links to St Patrick's. My wife (Sarah) and I moved to Singapore for six years working at large International school. We had two beautiful daughters, Bailee (8) and Charli (6) whilst over there. An opportunity presented at Caulfield Grammar School and I now find myself in the role of Vice Principal. CGS is a leading APS coeducational Anglican school with over 3200 students, five campuses, and 1000-plus staff. A wonderful leadership opportunity to influence the lives of many young people and I'm privileged to work directly with the Principal, Reverend Andrew Syme, who is renowned as one of the finest Heads in Australia.
What are your favourite memories of your time at St Patrick’s College?
There is no doubt sport was a defining factor for me at St Patrick's. With the wisdom of time I now reflect on the fundamental importance this had on my personal development. I was fortunate enough to Captain the 1st XI and the 1st XVIII in the School's centenary year (1993) and these leadership opportunities held me in good stead for my career in education. There is no doubt, fun times with friends also resonates. A regret I have is I haven’t maintained closer links to my cohort once leaving the gates for the last time in 1993.
Which teacher from your time at SPC had the greatest impact on you? Why?
A number of positive influences. Gerard Ryan, Tony Martino, Terry Blizzard, Damien McKee, Brett Anderson. Br Breach was an extraordinary man and I have many fond memories of his one-on-one coaching lessons in the nets. Howard Clark was another gentleman I only had limited dealings with in my final year but even this short time impacted me. It is no surprise to see him as an inspirational figure for many young men who’ve attended the College after me.
How has your education shaped your professional life?
I was the beneficiary of strong guidance and leadership throughout my school years and observed first-hand the influence school leadership has on a young person's development. I have watched with interest the Headship of Dr Casey, where from afar it was evident he recalibrated the purpose of St Patrick's and repositioned the school as a leading Catholic boys school in the region. I'm really pleased this is the case for the College.
How has your time at SPC shaped your personal values and your family life?
I was at St Patrick's when my parents went through a separation. The guidance, support and mentoring I received during this time (even though as an adolescent I did everything to push this away!) was fundamental in me navigating these times. Whether it was interactions with a teacher that took the time to ask right the questions, or the comradery of the sporting team, the notion of connectedness was a pivotal part of my journey.
If you could pass on one message to the students of today, what would it be?
It sounds cliché but embrace every opportunity the school offers you. Furthermore, the notion of service and looking beyond yourself to care for others is so important for all generations and in particular students of today. I’m very bullish about this generation of young people and your opportunities are endless. This is a part of the fabric of St Patrick’s. Don’t be bound by the walls of Ballarat post your time at school, love and appreciate your parents and always dig a bit deeper when you play Assumption.