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Proud to be a boarder

Name: Lachlan
Age: 18
Graduated: Year 12, 2019, Aquinas College
Employment: BHP Diesel Fitter Apprenticeship
From: Carnarvon, WA

A proud Wajarri Yamatji from WA, Lachlan grew up in the remote town of Carnarvon, around 900km north of Perth, camping, swimming and riding motorbikes. In Year 10, he began boarding at Aquinas College in Perth.

“When I was accepted for the scholarship, I was so happy. My Mum said I couldn’t stop grinning.”

In Carnarvon, Lachlan’s family lived on a rural block and had a menagerie of animals. He rode his pony at events on stations, and today still enjoys attending the annual Gascoyne Junction Races.

At boarding school, Lachlan, who began playing the guitar at eight, continued to foster his love of music. “I was able to participate in a range of activities and was given opportunities that I could not have enjoyed back home. I enjoyed all the boarder activities and have made some lifelong friends.”

As part of the AIEF Mentor Program, Lachlan was matched with Ron Stockdale, a Maintenance Superintendent with AIEF Partner BHP.

“My family say I won the mentor jackpot when I was allocated to Ron. He attended almost every AIEF event and my school events, even flying in from work in the afternoon and still attending my rock band performance the same night.”

Lachlan had regular sessions with Ron and his AIEF Advisor to determine his career options.

“The support provided in Year 11 and 12 was very useful when I was applying for apprenticeships. My Advisor kept me updated with events and training opportunities.”

Lachlan was successful in attaining a diesel fitting apprenticeship with BHP. “I feel very happy and lucky to have achieved my chosen career,” Lachlan says.

“I feel proud and lucky to have attended Aquinas. I think about other boys in my family and hope that they will also be able to have the same opportunities.”

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At AIEF, we believe that the Indigenous situation is a national crisis; and the reason we get out of bed each day is to do something about it. Our approach is to have a hard head, a soft heart and capable hands with everything we do.

Andrew Penfold AM
Executive Director, AIEF

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The AIEF Scholarship Program and the AIEF Pathways Program are supported by the Australian Government in collaboration with individual, philanthropic and corporate supporters from the private sector.