Anthony Spagnolo | Class of 2005


At Av԰ Christi College, our mission is to be a Catholic community committed to empowering every learner to serve and enrich our changing world. In an increasingly globalised world fraught with socio-political and economic challenges, it’s important more than ever to connect with the communities beyond our neighbourhood and borders.

Anthony Spagnolo (Class of 2005), Senior Advisor to federal Finance Minister Senator Mathias Cormann, learned about the world in depth when he completed a double degree in Commerce and Arts at the University of Western Australia, majoring in Accounting, Corporate Finance and Political Science & International Relations. But even before graduating university, Anthony felt called to go beyond the pages of a textbook: 

‘I’ve always been both a problem solver and a community-oriented sort of a person. My quest to connect with people from a diverse range of backgrounds, to understand and empathise with their sentiments and expand upon my ability to solve problems took me on a journey to West Africa as a Christian missionary in 2009,’ he explained.  

This undertaking to serve, connect and discover is echoed in the College’s immersion programs to Cambodia and Beagle Bay, where students have a unique opportunity to contribute to the local community whilst also nurturing their own spiritual and cultural growth. The life-long benefits of Anthony’s decision confirm that such experiences – whether taken up while at Av԰ or at a later stage of life – are well and truly worth it.

Anthony says, ‘Being able to mingle in the midst of locals for three months in a remote village, seeing the world the way they do, and developing the ability to show empathy to situations we, in the developed world, almost never go through remains in my eyes to be an experience I cherish since graduating from Av԰ Christi College. That was a life changing experience that has taught me many things a conventional education often struggles to. I was able to import the lessons from that journey in to my professional and public service pathways that I have dabbled in ever since.’ 

In June of this year, Anthony took up a promotion to his current position, where he works directly on the Federal Budget, prepares advice for Cabinet and the Expenditure Review Committee, and negotiates and delivers policy with the Prime Minister’s and Treasurer’s senior staff. With government directives affecting millions of lives, it’s a role where empathy and problem-solving can go a long way.  

His advice for current Av԰ students? ‘Every student identifies subjects we’re taught at school as either “fun” or “boring”. The one piece of advice I would love to give Av԰ students is to never ever underestimate the value of things you might think right now are boring. I used to be like that with a few subjects. It’s not until you leave school and take a deep dive into the real world that you realise how lucky you were that the curriculum included such a diverse range of education options. High school years are the best of your life and we ought to never take for granted the true scale of wisdom we can acquire in those years, especially at a school like Av԰ Christi.’ 

Av԰ Communications