Balance and variety are ideal words to describe the interests and approach to life of BSSC Year 12 student, Ed Harrison.

“BSSC is a real positive in my life,” he says. “I really like my teachers and the ethos of self-motivation is something I’ll take with me into the rest of my life.”

Although he came to the college with a group of mates from Bendigo South East (BSE), Ed is impressed with the sense of connection.

“It’s been easy to make new friends at BSSC,” he says.

During his time at BSE, Ed was part of the college’s concert band.

Initially he played flute but swapped to saxophone and, although school commitments have caught up with him in VCE, he still enjoys playing sax at home.

Ed is impressed with BSSC’s broad range of subjects and is enjoying the contrast of studying History of Revolutions and English alongside Maths Methods, Chemistry and Physics.

“I took 20th Century History last year and decided to take Revolutions this year to keep on broadening my knowledge,” he says.

“Variety gives your brain different ways of thinking. Revolutions gives my ‘maths brain’ a break.”

Ed has the benefit of a dad who studied Humanities and enjoys their discussions about how and why certain events occurred. He enjoys the connection between real world events and classroom learning.

“I really enjoy the way BSSC students help each other out in class,” Ed says. “I benefit a lot from a collaborative approach to problem-solving.”

Ed is planning to study Mechanical Engineering and while he knows this can lead to many different careers, he’s keeping an open mind and looks forward to explorng options once he gets into his tertiary studies.

Ed’s childhood was spent in suburban Sydney in an area rich with Italian immigrants. This, and his own travel experiences—especially in Europe—fostered an appreciation for other cultures and countries.

When he was about to start Grade 6 the family learned that part of the WestConnex Tunnel was to run beneath their home.

Ed’s parents were keen to be a bit closer to extended family and were looking for a complete lifestyle change. The tunnel was the catalyst and they chose Bendigo as their destination.

“I guess they were living their own ethos of taking every opportunity that turns up,” Ed reflects, “but I was just devastated when they first told me.”

Ed’s family moved within about months, and despite his reservations, it didn’t take him long to make new friends in his adopted city.

“I’m grateful to have a good capacity to connect with people—regardless of interests and backgrounds,” Ed says.

The family found the less frenetic lifestyle they had wanted and Ed, who had been a gymnast until about age nine, got much more involved in another sport he loves; soccer.

In 2017 Ed was named in the Victorian Country Squad. He competed widely, including a week in Japan. These days he still plays midfield for Spring Gully United.

“If I could have a conversation with anyone, it would probably be Spanish soccer star Andrés Iniesta who now plays for Japan,” Ed says. “I’ve always admired him and wonder what a person like him might aspire to after such success.”

Ed works part-time at McDonald’s, and while spare time is hard to find, he’s also a keen motorbike rider with race experience on both dirt and road bikes.

“I’ve had some success and only a few crashes,” he says.

No longer racing dirt bikes, he continues building his capacity on his road bike, a Yamaha R6 600cc and trains on bitumen every couple of weeks. He also does most of the maintenance on his bike.

“My parents have been consistently encouraging and supportive,” Ed says. “They’ve set a great example of hard work and encourage me to take every opportunity.

“I’m really grateful for all they’ve done for me. It’s not that they just give me stuff, it’s always about helping me be the best version of myself.”

Ed names this capacity—to not leave opportunities untried—as something he’s very grateful for.

“It’s fueled my sporting interests, music and band, and I’ve even had a go at public speaking,” he says.

If Ed could time-travel back to that moment when his parents told him the family was moving to some unknown city named Bendigo in another state, he would tell that younger version of himself that everything will work out brilliantly.

“Keep working hard and grabbing all opportunities,” he’d say. “Oh, and one more thing… invest in cryptocurrency. ”