Moving to a new country and two new schools within a single year would test any young person. BSSC Year 12 student, Ieuan Wing, has done just that; arriving from New Zealand to begin second term at BSE in 2017 and found the difference in classroom layouts initially daunting.

“Once I had made some new friends, it was no big deal,” he says.

Ieuan moved to BSSC just nine months after he arrived, but this move was made with a group of good friends and clarity about what he wanted to study.

“BSSC has so many subjects on offer and that really impresses me,” he says. “I also like the freedom of not having to wear a uniform, and the way the college is so accepting of everyone.”

Ieuan’s course comprises Physics, Chemistry, Maths Methods, English Language and French. He hopes it will set him up for his plans to become a RAAF fighter pilot.

“I’ll have to get through aptitude, fitness and psychological testing as well as getting the right ATAR,” he explains. “And because I am a New Zealand citizen, I have to wait five years before I can apply for permanent residency.”

So what attracted Ieuan to this career?

“Dad was a Warrant Officer working as a crewman on choppers in the New Zealand air force (RNZAF), so I’ve grown up really aware about what’s involved in an air force career.

“Also, one of my birthday presents was a flying lesson in a small plane over Bendigo. I can only imagine the adrenaline rush of flying the sorts of planes I want to work with.”

It also seems pretty cool to think that Ieuan may one day be Wing Commander Wing!

Meanwhile he is focused on, and enjoying, his present studies.

“Roy Preece has made the transition to BSSC so much easier in Physics and Maths,” Ieuan says. “He is absolutely mental about physics—it’s great!

“I am also happy with my other teachers. They are all so passionate about what they teach.”

Asked for some advice for other students Ieuan recommends, “Push yourself… step outside your comfort zone and really go for it.”

Outside of school and homework Ieuan has interests that sit well with his academic efforts. He’s been playing hockey for about 12 years and now plays competitively in a league just below the Victorian Premier League.

“I’m now in the Victorian State League 1 North-West Lightening Team. It’s part of a really big league and we play against teams from all over the state,” Ieuan says.

“And because I’m currently playing mid-field I’m doing a lot of running. I did try Rugby in New Zealand but it’s not really my thing with all that tackling.”

For the last five years Ieuan has also been developing his skills with acoustic guitar. Classic rock is his choice and mostly he just plays at home, but he’s also discovered that playing his guitar is a great way to spend regular breaks when he’s studying.

Add in part-time work at Café Essence and Ieuan’s calendar is pretty much full.

Despite his busy schedule, and perhaps because his future is aimed at the armed forces, Ieuan takes some interest in global politics.

“I think things are not great at the moment,” he says. “There are lots of disagreements and tensions, and there’s also the issue of climate change which seems much more obvious in Australia than it did in New Zealand.

“I miss New Zealand’s green-ness and how beautiful the countryside is. The weather is much cooler too.”

Asked what advice he would give his 12-year-old self, Ieuan say he would tell himself to work harder at High School.

“But really, making mistakes is the best way to learn.”