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Warrnambool Clontarf Academy’s very first graduate Mark Weston has turned his love and interest for art into his ‘dream job’ – a tattooist at Thirteen Sails Tattoo Studio in Warrnambool.

Mark was a pretty relaxed kid with not a great deal of interest in school when he and the Warrnambool Academy started in 2010 but soon found himself immersed in the Clontarf culture.

“Senior schooling wasn’t easy for me,” said Mark.

“I was dealing with the pressures of school and my mum battling cancer. But if it wasn’t for Mick (Warrnambool Director) instilling self-belief, picking me up and supporting me I wouldn’t be here today. He is a super good dude.

“It was the non-judgmental approach and the strong relationships and friendships built through camps and trips that gave me the confidence to be a leader and chase success.”

And chase success he did. Mark participated in a Youth Leadership Program in Broome and attained his VCE certificate later that year.

Upon graduating Mark travelled across Victoria, playing football and working before returning to Warrnambool in 2012.

On his return, Mick and Mark worked together to kick start his now ‘dream job’ at a local tattoo parlour.

It was a rocky start to his career however through his resilience and determination he landed an opportunity at Thirteen Sails.

Fast forward three years and Mark is now an extremely talented tattoo artist.

Attending and participating in tattoo conventions around the country and internationally, as well has heading up their own fundraising event for Warrnambool Headspace – ‘Flash Tag’.

“It has been amazing, but also very daunting at times. I would have to tattoo my boss so he could check my progress and how I was coming along as an artist.”

Mark is striving to improve every day and he encourages all young men to “find a passion and go all the way.”

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