The future is looking both bright and interesting for BSSC Year 12 student, Zach Martin.

Once he completes school, Zach is planning to apply for work with a deep drilling company. He also wants to maintain involvement with the Australian Defence Forces (ADF) through the Army Reserve.

Deep drilling, as the name implies, involves obtaining rock and soil samples from deep underground which geologists assess to decide if an area is a lucrative place to mine.

“The drill spins at over 1000rpm, gets really hot and is extremely loud when in action,” says Zach. “Someone has to watch it at all times in case it jams and be capable of operating the robotic arm that assists in the replacing of pipes. You get really well-paid for this work.”

While deep drilling happens across Australia, Zach is keen to get a job close to Bendigo.

Zach joined Army Cadets in 2019 and is rightfully proud of having worked his way up the ranks in just five years, taking every opportunity to complete leadership courses moving him from Lance Corporal to the highest rank possible for a cadet: Warrant Officer Class 1.

Zach’s particular area of involvement is logistics—supplies ranging from food to equipment—and his present rank means he carries responsibility for logistics impacting around 1000 cadets.

“Cadets has given me so much,” Zach says. “I have Autism and through Cadets I have learnt to be much more patient. It’s helped me control the surges of frustration which used to be a real problem when I was younger.”

Although Zach will age-out of Cadets once he turns 18, he will then be eligible to join the Army Reserves.

Reservists enjoy all the benefits of being part of the ADF, but the program works around the rest of your life rather than being your main career.

Zach and some of his mates also have a long-term dream to set up an automotive business, offering everything from bodywork to engine maintenance.

He’s had plenty of hands-on experience working with cars—more about that later—but hopes to gain industry qualifications that will broaden his options.

Zach is presently working part-time at KFC in Eaglehawk and has been there for over two years.

As someone who learns best through hands-on experience, being able to select practical subjects meant he was looking forward to starting Year 11 last year at BSSC.

“This college really was the only choice for me.”

It’s turned out to be an excellent choice. Zach says BSSC tech subjects are excellent, and the freedom students are given is his favourite aspect of the college.

“My teachers are amazing, helpful and understanding—I have never had anything like it at any other school and I often recommend this college to others.”

Zach is pleased BSSC has allowed him to complete an unscored VCE which will still give him a certificate valued by many employers.

“Even if you don’t want a scored VCE, it’s so worth finishing Year 12.”

VET Auto, Systems Engineering, Competition Vehicles, Maths and English, are Zach’s subjects this year.

“The hardest subject for me is English. My brain goes to a shambles and I usually only study English when I’m at school and my tutor and English teacher are around.

“In contrast, I’m pretty much ahead in all my other subjects.”

Zach’s standard approach to his homework is to do something really active to get his energy levels up before his sits down and, with music playing, knocks over in one sitting whatever needs attention.

“Mum supports me so much too. She also often knows just how to explain homework to me when I can’t work something out.”

His family have been supportive in many other ways too and Zach is grateful for their role in all aspects of his life.

“If I could go back and give my twelve-year-old self some advice, I’d say, ‘Work harder in English so you won’t have to struggle so much later in school. Read more. Practice your writing’.”

Having effective methods to de-stress is essential for most people. For Zach it’s online car racing that gives him a complete break.

Zach and his dad share numerous interests. His dad was involved with Cadets and is into cars and online car racing too.

Zach has also been into speedway racing until recently when his Ford Falcon EB sustained damage he expects will take a lot of time and money to repair.

“My Pa raced speedway when he was younger,” he says. “He got me into it.”

Car racing is an expensive sport. Zach estimates it can be $10,000 a year to maintain a speedway car. Even racing tyres are unbelievably expensive, and teams might only use them for a couple of races.

Given this reality, Zach is aware it’s partly his family’s financial situation that has allowed him to pursue this passion and he is very thankful about this.

Professional supercar racing driver, Jamie Whincup, is someone Zach admires. Whincup has raced in—and often won—the most prestigious competitions across Australia.

Meanwhile online racing sees Zach currently competing for Top 3 in the world in pro-late-model car racing. But even 19th in the world—his current position—is not a bad effort either!