All News

Nick Jorss may have hung up his St Peters uniform in 1986, but thirty years on, he still has his school tie and dusted if off when he returned as a guest speaker at the 72nd Founders’ Day Service on 20 February.

In a nostalgic and symbolic gesture, Nick unravelled his school tie to the delight of the whole of College assembly, reminding students to ‘treasure their school days’.

Nick has fond memories of St Peters but recalled the challenges he faced when he first arrived in 1981 as a shy lad with an American accent, courtesy of the school he had attended in Jakarta.

‘Some of the Aussie kids actually found it very hard to understand me,’ Nick recalled.

Nick said it also took some time to adjust to the cultural differences.

‘All of a sudden I found myself transported to Brisbane in a much stricter and more formal Lutheran school environment,’ he said.

‘I distinctly remember having to teach myself to use sarcasm and learning to make fun of my mates because without that you didn’t seem to last long in the Australian schoolyard.’

However, Nick soon settled into St Peters and made the most of the opportunities that came his way.

‘My most vivid memory of those days is the feeling of unlimited opportunity that comes at the age when you have the whole world to explore and everything feels fresh and alive with promise,’ he explained.

‘I wasn’t top of my class – but my memories of Ironbark, my friends and teachers are good.’

At his own admission, Nick took some time to find his own passion after leaving St Peters.

He followed his father’s and grandfather’s career path into civil engineering and spent almost a decade working on projects like the Bolte Bridge in Melbourne and other infrastructure.

In spite of building a successful career as a civil engineer, Nick knew something wasn’t quite right, as he described his bold decision to try something new and untested.

‘It wasn’t something that became clear to me overnight and it took a fair bit of courage to recognise it,’ he explained.

‘I yearned to use my creativity and I had a real interest in finance and economics so after much thought, I went back to University and did an MBA. This led me to investment banking and through this, I developed my real passion for business, the field in which I operate today.’

Nick has started two ASX listed mining companies, one of which he ran until late last year, and in 2014, he and his wife, and another local family, undertook the restoration of 150 Boundary Street, West End and established The Catchment Brewing Co., indulging yet another passion for craft beer.

Finding the courage to determine his own destiny and ignite his own passions has paid great dividends for Nick. Not bad for a shy and uncertain young student who struggled at times with the confidence to get through the front gate at school.

‘One of the things I really love about St Peters is that the school has always defined success more broadly than purely academic or even sporting achievements,’ Nick explained.

Speaking at the Founders’ Day assembly, Nick reminded the students to trust their instincts and take advantage of the opportunities of a St Peters’ education.

‘St Peters is a school that provides the opportunity to grow in whatever area you are most passionate about,’ he said. ‘Grab the opportunity ahead of you with both hands. This school is amazing.’

‘If it takes you a little while to find your own passion that’s ok,’ he said with the benefit of experience. ‘It did for me and it’s been worth it.’

For more information about The Catchment Brewing Co., visit its website.