Warrane College UNSW | college accommodation for students at UNSW
Warrane College UNSW | college accommodation for students at UNSW

Paddy Howard on Breaking Brick Walls

Patrick Howard (Left) and former dean of Warrane College, Arthur Escamilla (Right)

Former Rugby international player and coach Patrick (“Paddy”) Howard encouraged residents to make the best of every opportunity that comes their way, during and after university.

“Be diverse,” he said. “Don’t be intimidated by any opportunity. Remember you are as good as anybody at something.

“It is amazing how often people are daunted by something. If someone wants to give you a go, do it – say yes.”

Speaking on May 25, Paddy spoke about the Rugby career that saw him follow in his father’s and grandfather’s footsteps to become a Wallaby, playing 20 tests for Australia between 1993 and 1997.

Noting that he was “not a big bloke”, he said he was still determined to “throw myself at a brick wall” if necessary and that attitude had helped him to succeed on and off the field.

In Europe, he had a successful career as a player and coach for the championship-winning Leicester Tigers, and played for the French side, Montferrand.

He said that particularly after his Rugby career was over he had to learn to adapt and change, taking up new challenges and opportunities as they presented themselves. Although he completed a Bachelor of Pharmacy degree when he was younger, he had decided to take a different path after his Rugby career came to an end.

Since then he has completed a real-estate license, a graduate diploma in Applied Finance and an MBA.

He is presently Chief Operations Officer of the Cromwell Property Group, an industry for which, he says, he was inexperienced in when he landed the job, but he believes he is now very qualified given the experience he has had.

“I have been able to adapt and change,” he said. “You can do anything – pretty much anything you want – as long as you are willing to have a go.”

Paddy emphasised the importance of his family to his life. He said that it was because of his wife and four children that he had committed to his present job and to living in the same place for 12 years.

“You know the saying,” he said, “happy wife, happy life.” When his listeners laughed, he responded: “I’m serious.”

Paddy encouraged residents to strive to be always “moral, fair and really truthful.”

[Warrane College offers more than just accommodation to students at UNSW: Details of other guest speakers are available here]