Hi! My name is Pat Branson. Actually, it’s Richard Patrick Branson. In my family, in each generation, there is one male with the first name of Richard, although the name is never used. You can understand why it’s so these days because I am often confused with Sir Richard Branson of Virgin fame.

I was born in Subiaco a long time ago and most of my life has been spent in WA. My childhood was spent in the country. We lived in Norseman, a gold-mining town south of Kalgoorlie, and my Dad worked on a mine there until he heard the call of the truck and went trucking for many years. Eventually, he settled down to selling trucks and was known for some years and Mr Mack because he sold Mack trucks to many of the big trucking companies in WA.

I went to all sorts of Catholic schools – I’m a Catholic and proud of it – and ended up at Trinity College for the final years of my secondary schooling. For some years after that, I was a member of a religious order and went to uni in Sydney. I was in the first group of students at Macquarie University in Sydney.

While my initial studies were in the Arts area – a double major in English literature – I have dabbled in other areas, including Maths, Geology and Geophysics. Since leaving the religious order, I have continued studying and have completed a MEd degree and a PhD, both in research into aspects of religious education. Currently, I am studying how to create apps that relate to RE and the life of Catholic schools.

My faith is important to me. We (my wife, my daughter and me) live in Armadale and we belong to the St Francis Xavier parish, which is where we go to Mass each week. If we aren’t there on a Sunday evening, you will find us at Mass in the Holy Spirit Chapel at NDA.