Jock Finlay’s incredible life story has won the Year 11 student a shortlisting for the ABC’s Heywire Competition.

Heywire invites young people to recount a true event or experience, and winners work alongside ABC producers to professionally develop their piece so it can be featured on the ABC.

Jock’s story is compelling.

Born with a serious illness, Jock remained in hospital for the first 18 months of his life. Soon after he was diagnosed with kidney problems—and during primary school, his kidneys failed. Jock joined those on the transplant waiting list until, at 11 years of age, he received a kidney transplant.

“On the day of the operation all my family were there except Dad,” Jock said.

“I wasn’t really sure why because Dad and I had always been close. Then the day after the surgery, Mum told me that Dad’s kidneys matched mine, so he was the one whose kidney was now keeping me healthy.

“I had wanted to write about my experiences and our class did a project that meant I could. We all submitted our stories. It did not occur to me that I would win.”

Jock also scores an all-expenses paid trip to the Heywire Summit in Canberra—an ideas fest seeking to make positive change for young people in regional Australian communities.

Once school finishes, Jock is planning to travel around Australia and make a documentary about his experiences, hoping eventually to become a filmmaker.