Class of 1967

Kevin P Ryan thrived at Aquinas College as a day student and then as a boarder during his last year. He excelled at sport: vice-captain of both the Football and the Tennis teams, a Cadet CUO and President of the YCS. He received a Commonwealth Scholarship in 1965 and left with Honours in Football and Athletics.

Academically he felt he did not reach his full potential having made a decision to pursue science and follow in his father’s footsteps. The tragic death of his mother early in his last year, however, made it a period of turbulence which makes his accomplishments of that year all the more impressive.

Clearly a leader, his future in the brotherhood was also a moment of clarity for young Kevin and he knew he would join the Christian Brothers by the end of his second last year. He trained for three years in Melbourne completing his Diploma of Teaching in 1970 and was posted to Geraldton. He was extremely diligent, teaching in day and boarding across subjects, curricular and non-curricular.

He was posted in Adelaide and in Perth before returning to his studies full time to complete a Bachelor of Social Work at what is now Curtin University. After a two-year stretch as Executive Officer, planning a new educational programme that turned into Clontarf, Br Kevin became the Foundation Principal there in 1986. Ten years later, after heading schools in Broome, he was made Deputy Province Leader in WA and SA for the Christian Brothers.

Br Kevin played a key role in restructuring the newly established EREA division of Oceania. In 2008, he was chosen to lead Callan Services for Disabled Persons based in Wewak, Papua New Guinea which is a role he will see through to support the Christian Brothers in Papua New Guinea.

Br Kevin says looking back: “I haven’t grown through success – I’ve grown through failures and the hurt and pain that comes from life.” He was profoundly grateful for the education he received at Aquinas College and made this clear in his leaving speech as Head Prefect: “This is the one message I leave the students of Aquinas this school can only be what YOU make it… it is both your privilege and responsibility to set a high standard, for yours is the standard that the whole school accepts and follows.”

It is as true now as it was then.