The Noble Handover: An Interview with the New College Chaplain

Taylah C (Year 12)

Recently, I had the pleasure of talking to Jesse David Fitzgerald, the new Chaplain at William Clarke College, to get to know him a bit better. Whilst this is his first year in a teaching role at a school, he undertook an interesting journey to get to this position.  

Growing up in a Christian family, our Chaplain has always been around a strong Christian community and attended church. Mr Fitzgerald claims that his faith journey has been made up with “significant moments along the way rather than a stand-alone moment.”   

At the age of 16, Mr Fitzgerald got involved with the wrong crowd. But after deciding he didn’t want to continue down a path bound to separate him from God, he attended a church camp. However, every road gets rocky sometimes. Around 20 years old, Mr Fitzgerald found himself compromising his faith once again. It wasn’t until the realisation that “Jesus still accepts us regardless of our mistakes” that he became passionate about the Gospels at the age of 21.  

William Clarke College only came into the picture for Mr Fitzgerald recently, with the alignment of God’s will. After discovering his passion for sharing the Gospels and a love of teaching, an opportunity for him to do both appeared. Whilst this is his first teaching role, Mr Fitzgerald has been involved in schools for about 10 years. Starting at both primary and high schools in the Parramatta district.  

 The last two schools that he has worked at are Mt Annan High and Windsor Public as their Chaplain, only taking a break from teaching to study at Bible College. Now, we are the lucky ones at William Clarke to be inspired by his wisdom as he shares God’s word with us weekly.   

 Mr Fitzgerald has one wish for his time at WCC, he “wants students to know more about Jesus” and help them along their faith journey, whether they haven’t picked up a Bible before or if they’re “exploring or wanting to go deeper”. He wants to encourage us all. His favourite verse from the Bible was hard to think of, so instead he chose the entire Gospel of Mark. After a period of thinking, Mr Fitzgerald gave us a few amazing verses that he loves, including but not limited to: Isaiah 40, John 1:1-14, Mark 4:35-41, Luke 24:13-35, 1 Corinthians 15, and John 20:11-18 

  As previously stated, Mr Fitzgerald is currently studying at Bible College, but in his free time, he loves to “study and focus on Biblical languages” including Greek and Hebrew! How cool is it to have a trilingual Chaplain! He also loves to spend time fishing, exercising and cooking.   

 Teachers, this one is for you. Mr Fitzgerald says his best dish is his original salmon recipe. You should definitely chase after him for this one!   

For anyone who doesn’t know Mr Fitzgerald, he LOVES to socialise! Which is amazing for all students who have biblical questions as it allows us to have those tricky questions answered, or if you just want to have a chat, he is available for that too.   

Now, time for some very interesting fun facts about our new Chaplain. His first job was at KFC! How familiar to more than half of the employees at Kellyville Village KFC. His grandfather played in the NRL for the Bulldogs, and he loves to watch any sport live (plus he is a “closeted Eels supporter” for all those Parra fans out there!).   

 But, trust me, this is just the tip of the iceberg. The rest is up to you to find out. You can find him after Chapels, around the playground, or in his office above student reception, where he will be more than willing to have a conversation with you.   

 On behalf of the student body, welcome to the college and we pray for you as you deliver God’s word to us! God Bless.