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Written by Ben Djuve (Employment Officer)

Richard has gone from a school attendance of less than 30% to Storeroom Supervisor at Target in Bairnsdale.

School was never high on Richard’s to-do list. His attendance was extremely low for a student just beginning his high school journey. However something was about to change for Richard and his principal had foreseen the journey he was about to take.

Richard’s principal at the time, invited him into his office to talk about a new program that is coming to Bairnsdale Secondary College – Clontarf and how he thinks it could help.

“Make sure you come to school on this day…” his principal said

This day was Bairnsdale Clontarf Academy’s first training session. Richard’s eyes and enthusiasm lit up. It had ignited a new found passion for school and education for Richard.

“It turned my school life around. I suddenly liked school again,” Richard said. Richard’s school attendance and engagement sky rocketed and he was fully immersed in Academy life. He was going on camps, attending training, volunteering and was becoming quite the leader amongst his peers.

“Clontarf gave me confidence, I finally had some direction. Meeting Buzz and Turk (Academy staff) was the highlight of school days; they were such strong leaders and I wouldn’t be where I am without them,” Richard continued.

During his Year 12 studies, Richard secured his first casual job at Target in Bairnsdale. He relished and impressed in that position and soon found himself in a supervisory position just two years into the job.

“It’s a great place to work, I really enjoy it. We have a great crew,“ he said.

Richard is excelling at his job, renting his own place and has recently bought his own car. Richard has become a strong leader within his community and has become a great role model and he encourages all young men “not to be afraid of asking for help”.

Richard Harrison Bairnsdale 2