Year 12 BSSC NETschool student, Jaxson Daniels, recalls feeling overwhelmed when he first moved to Senior from a college he’d been at since Year 2.

“I knew virtually no-one and thought it would be like ‘me against the world’. But I had this moment in late first term in Outdoor Ed when I realised how happy I was.

“My Mum said I looked more relaxed—lighter. She told me quite a few people from our family had been to BSSC and really enjoyed it.”

As Jaxson got to know his classmates he was impressed by how well everyone got along—and were happy to say hello to students they didn’t know.

“Everyone is given the same share of respect at BSSC. There’s not one thing I’d change.”

The physical layout of NETschool is ideal for Jaxson. It’s more like a workplace where he has his own desk as well as a space he can set up as he wishes.

“I love how relaxed it is. I’m naturally hype-vigilant and couldn’t ask for a better vibe.”

The word Jaxson associates with NETschool is ‘welcoming’.

“When I walk in the door someone always says hello and asks me how my week is going—and that’s just the start of the day!”

Jaxson has also developed a huge amount of respect and admiration for his mentor, Jim Cowie.

“I know I could talk to him about anything.”

Asked about a hot study tip, Jaxson says looking at the pre-class resources and arriving well-prepared for the topic has really made a difference for him.

“I also colour-code to highlight priorities. I’ve heard yellow is the colour you remember best—so I always mark the more urgent stuff in yellow. I do old practice questions too.”

Jaxson is taking a mixed course that includes VET building and construction at BSSC’s main campus.

While he’s enjoying this VET subject, it’s shown him a building apprenticeship pathway is not right for him.

“I think I’d like to work with youth in a mentor role of some sort. I find myself waking up thinking about this idea and I know there’s a TAFE course offering training in this area.”

Jaxson hopes a work placement will help confirm this pathway.

A two-year old brother whose arrival changed Jaxson’s life, has also brought great insight about how satisfying it is to watch a young person develop.

Beyond school and his part-time job at ‘The Old Boundary Hotel’, Jaxson is a keen In-Line Hockey player and Navy Cadet.

He joined Navy Cadets three years ago. Although impacted by Covid, the program continued with online programs.

“Despite all the lockdowns, we still managed a week at HMAS Cerberus—the major naval training centre at Crib Point.

“It was a great experience of belonging, teamwork and developing responsibility. I learnt new skills and made friends with young people from all over Australia.

“I think the service side of being in the Navy is really important. For example, I had always gone to the dawn service on Anzac Day. But now I attend and participate.”

Jaxson had also been a serious swimmer, competing at just below state level, but it “just killed it” when Covid closed all the pools.

Jaxson initially tried running, but it wasn’t the same. He got into In-Line Hockey in March 2022 and discovered a unique sport requiring many skills.

“Over the Christmas holidays I trained every day—I just love it and sometimes I skate to school.”

Jaxson’s job at The Boundary began last May when he went to the pub for tea one night and got talking to the owner who asked him if he wanted some work.

“I dropped off my resume and the rest is history. It’s a fantastic place to work.

“Even on the busiest nights no one is trying to rip anyone’s head off or blame each other—we’re a great team.”

All these positive experiences are making Jaxson’s life richer, and giving him opportunities to develop his best self.

He dearly wishes he could share all this with his grandfather who died a couple of years ago.

“My Pop was such an important part of my childhood but never got to watch me play hockey or see me really happy at school.”

A heavyweight boxer, Jaxson’s Pop remained both mentally and physically strong. Even when he was so ill towards the end of his life, he was determined to do as much as he could for himself.

“I’d love to ask him the secret of his mental toughness.”

Jaxson once wrote down the ten things he is most grateful for and his family definitely remains top of that list.

“I’m also proud I have the confidence that how I am, and where I am, is fine.

“I’ve learnt the importance of being open to new people and situations—this didn’t happen naturally: you have to have a go at things.”

I’ve also learnt to breathe through problems and often find myself using this technique.

Jaxson says if he could go back and give his 12 year-old self some advice, he’d probably say: “Be more patient, because problems always eventually pass.

“Working in hospitality has certainly developed this skill.”