Former staff member and College student John Challis (1970) was in Australia recently and enjoyed a tour of his former school and workplace. John has lived overseas for a good many years working as a psychologist and administrator.
John was a student at Parade College and matriculated in 1970. He then returned as a Christian Brother to the College a few years later as a teacher of Politics and Humanities.
John then left Parade College to complete his Bachelor of Social Work degree at La Trobe University, being one of the first Christian Brothers to complete this specialist course of study.
He was then appointed as Deputy Director of St Vincent’s Boys Home, South Melbourne – now MacKillop Family Services.
John then discerned his life direction to be outside the Christian Brothers community and rapidly became the Director of Odyssey House, Auckland, New Zealand. John held this position with great distinction for around 15 years, becoming a national expert in therapeutic drug treatment and rehabilitation.
John regularly used his expertise to contribute within the wider global therapeutic community and was then offered a Vice President position at a Therapeutic Centre in New York, USA.
Another 15 years were then spent in two senior leadership positions in two drug therapeutic organisations, firstly in New York and then in San Francisco.
On reaching his mid-60s, John made the decision to retire and has now settled in San Miguel de Allende, in eastern Mexico. It was fortuitous that John was in Melbourne and was able to attend the Old Paradians' Association's inaugural Hall of Fame Annual Dinner. Dale McCann (1979), a sponsor of the event, was able to include John as his guest. Some old collegians in the room that night remembered John fondly as their teacher in the early 1980's. John Nicholls was also appreciative of John’s mentoring in his early career taking over his HSC Politics classes which proved a great professional joy.
Saludos y mucha prosperidad Juan – leal Old Paradian!
Best wishes and much prosperity John – loyal Old Paradian!