The James Petrie fund has been created to support projects which respond to mental health issues in the Ballarat region and support youth engagement.
Community donations to the fund are now being received. Peach’s Run, a fundraising event in support of the James Petrie Fund will be held on Saturday 11th November. For more information click here.
James Petrie was one of the most respected, loved and compassionate men you would ever meet. He always had the remarkable ability to light up a room. James grew up in Ballarat in a loving family and was always the cheeky and adventurous one. As the family grew he became the fun uncle to 7 nieces and nephews.
James began his schooling at St Columba’s Primary School in Ballarat Nth and completed his secondary schooling at St Patrick’s College Ballarat. He went on to complete his tertiary studies at Ballarat University in Health and Physical Education. James completed a traineeship at St Patrick’s College in the year following his VCE which led to his involvement in the College’s Boarding House. He enjoyed caring for and mentoring students in the boarding communities at both St Patrick’s College and Ballarat Grammar. James joined Ballarat High School teaching staff in 2012. VET Sport and Recreation, VCAL and Outdoor Education were particular passions of James’. He was a much loved, inspiring teacher who worked hard at engaging students and empowering them to reach their full potential.
His strong leadership skills were also shown on and off the football field, as he was a respected player, coach and mentor within both the Ballarat Nth Soccer Club for 12 years and the Waubra Football Club for 10 years. James had a keen interest in travel and outdoor adventures. This led to travel experiences throughout Australia and across the globe in Europe and the UK. His passion for the outdoors and physical challenges also led to James initiating Ballarat High School’s first Kokoda trek experience for a group of students in 2019.
In 2021 James was aware that his mental health was deteriorating. Thus began his year long struggle with the debilitating effects of depression. With the support of his loving family, devoted partner and his trusted tribe of friends by his side he fought like a true warrior. We all continue to be inspired by the fighting spirit he showed in his personal mental health battle and his love of a physical challenge.
When James found himself in the depths of depression he continued to be proactive and to use a variety of tools, resources and professional help to find a way out of the darkness which had consumed his life. High functioning depression may not always look like depression and can easily go unnoticed to those who are unaware and James was good at putting on a brave face. He was caught in an overwhelming and ongoing battle which he sadly lost in February 2022.
James was an active supporter of the following Mental Health Awareness organizations : R U OK, Walking off the War Within, Resilience Project, Kokoda Trek and Beyond Blue. We, his family and friends are determined to continue James’s legacy in supporting the growing mental health needs of the Ballarat Community and in particular promoting positive mental health through youth engagement initiatives.