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ASSOCIATION CONVENES HISTORY-MAKING HOOK-UPS

The Old Paradians’ Association has bookended the past working week with two history-making communications initiatives to counter the restrictions imposed by the COVID-19 pandemic.

On the evening of Monday, April 20, 2020 and for the first time in the Association’s 106-year history, 13 members of the committee conducted their monthly meeting by way of a Zoom video conference.

The committeemen – John Abrahams (1982), Mark Aiello (1990), Jean Luc Dal-Pra (1998), Tony De Bolfo (1980), John Dinan (1977), Michael Donato (2017), Paul Evans (1986), Angelo Mazzone (1982), Steve Nailer (1987), long-serving College teacher John Nicholls, John Ramsdale (1965), Andy Walsh (1971) and President Paul Shannon (1985) - each connected with the online forum through laptops in their homes.

The meeting lasted 60 minutes, with Paul thanking each of the participants “for dialling in” for the first time, after the March meeting was cancelled due to the social isolation measures introduced by the Victorian Government.

“The biggest challenge is the social disconnection, so it’s lovely to see everybody here again,” Paul told the committeemen in opening the video conference.

“If the worst that can happen is that we’re inconvenienced for a little bit then that’s okay. We’re going to be able to cope with that. It’s all about trying to be positive and seeing through what’s in front of us . . . and I’m sure we will.”

On Friday, April 24, and on the strength of the committee’s hook-up, the Association, at short notice, convened a similar conference targeting Old Paradians internationally. The conference, scheduled for 5.30pm Friday AEST, attracted two Old Paradians from London – Paul Bello (1980) and Craig Sanderson (1985) – who hooked up on Zoom at 8.30am Friday UK time for a friendly chat with the Parade College Principal Andy Kuppe (1983) and Tony De Bolfo, the Association CEO.

Another Old Paradian, Bharatha Gangasani (2015) also joined the discussion from his home within walking distance of the Bundoora campus, while the London-based Damian Wilson – the College captain of 1982 - confirmed as an apology.

The Association will hold future international hook-ups to connect with Old Paradians wherever they may be around the globe, as a means of broadening the network beyond Australian boundaries.

Plans are afoot for an historic simultaneous hook-up from Australia with Old Paradians based in each of the six other continents. With Europe covered, the Association is seeking alumni members currently living in Africa, Antarctica, Asia, North America and South America, to confirm their interest in this history-making event via email - oldparadians@parade.vic.edu.au