Nick Harrington (fr 2010) shares his best memories from College and some insights into The Manjeri Project, where he works to build exceptional sustainable schools that serve the most disadvantaged children in Uganda.
When were you at St Andrew’s and what did you study at which university? I was a resident at St Andrew’s from 2010-11 during which time I studied Law and International Studies at UTS.
What are your best memories at College? My best memories of College include hanging out with good friends after the major sporting/social events. The time spent in ‘Switzerland’ in Reid was particularly memorable as were the VDs in the JCR.
What did you do at College and/or University that you are most proud of? During my time at St Andrew’s I was most proud of my involvement in establishing the St Andrew’s College Childrens’ Camp with James Cahill. The Camp continues today and has a fantastic impact on the community and is a great opportunity for current students to get involved in a perpetual project.
At the same time, I was building up The Manjeri School Project, a small international development organisation that I continue to lead today. We work in Uganda building exceptional sustainable schools that serve the most disadvantaged children. What has been really humbling is the number of Drew’s men and women who have joined our team and gone to Uganda to volunteer. Our accountant, auditor, website designer, agriculture team and enterprise investment team have all come from St Andrew’s. I think this demonstrates a willingness of the alumni to contribute skills and expertise to meaningful endeavours outside of their day-to-day careers.
What have you been up to since you left College? Since leaving St Andrew’s and finishing Uni, I continue to work on The Manjeri School Project on a volunteer basis after hours. We have recently undergone major infrastructure projects including the construction of 9 classrooms and teacher accommodation and invested in a number of local social enterprises.
During the day, I work at Social Ventures Australia (SVA) in their impact investment team. I manage and deploy a pool of capital in Australia, seeking both a financial and a social return for our investors. We seek to improve the lives of disadvantaged Australians and believe that social enterprise and social purpose businesses play an important role in bring about this change. I’m really fortunate to work with a team of passionate, socially conscious and intelligent people.
What are you doing now? What projects are you involved in? At the moment at SVA, I am working on a number of impact investments and social impact bond transactions. Social impact bonds are new performanc- based contracting structures that promote better outcomes for those receiving social services. I feel like this is meaningful work.
Would you say St Andrew’s helped build your life experiences and business career? I think St Andrew’s contributed to the development of who I am today and provided the platform to build a great group of diverse friends that I would never have otherwise met. I’m lucky to be able to work with some of them today too.
There’s little doubt that living and learning amongst a group of talented and well-rounded people is good for your growth. I was fortunate to enjoy that at St Andrew’s and also benefited from the freedom to do my own things on the side as well.
Is there anything else you’d like to add? I would like to take this opportunity to thank the Androvians who have contributed their time and expertise to The Manjeri School Project over the years. Including; Luke Tregurtha, Angus Alcock, Campbell Leckie, Brad Wheaton, Tom Joffick, Jack O’Connor, James Larkin, Georgina Bird, Catherine Wild Taylor, and recently Andrew Gavel.
Lauren Ribbon Communications Officer