Zach is a proud Wiradjuri man who graduated in 2022. He followed a HSC + SBAT pathway. Read more to find out how his SBAT helped him to stay motivated during his HSC journey.
You can find out more about this pathway on our journey towards the HSC page.
Who I am?
I’m Zach, I’m Wiradjuri and I graduated from Kanahooka High School in 2022.
Doing the HSC looked rough because I didn’t know if I’d even get to Year 12. Sitting in a classroom wasn’t the best thing for me, so the opportunity to get out of the classroom and into the real world really appealed to me.
The opportunity of an SBAT changed things
My friend got an SBAT first and he pitched it to me, telling me it looked like a good job. I reached out to JT and Mick who work with Clontarf at my school. He helped make sure that I was meeting expectations at school to be put forward for a traineeship and then helped organise a mock interview. This helped get rid of those initial nerves and meant I’d know what to expect going into the real one.
Once I got the SBAT, the teachers and HSC advisor at school supported me and helped me decide what units to drop. This meant I didn’t have to worry so much about tests.
I wanted to see what warehousing was like
I started working at Blackwoods one day a week instead of school. I’m not the greatest with technology, so I wasn’t sure if I’d be able to wrap my head around things. But I had a lot of support and was always told there was no such thing as a dumb question. I could take my time, write things down and yell out if I needed help.
There were challenges, like when halfway through my traineeship the entire warehousing system changed, meaning I had to learn from scratch again. It was probably one of the hardest things but working around older people helped me mature and helped me focus back at school.
I’ve also been able to share culture with the support of Barry, the Manager of Indigenous Talent Development at Blackwoods. Getting a chance to be involved with things like smoking ceremonies and meeting people at NAIDOC Week events.
I’m grateful for my family
My family kept me motivated for sure, especially my mum. It was tough because they wouldn’t let me drop out, but I’m so glad I didn’t because of where I am now. My parents are really proud and that’s a big thing for me. I know not everyone has parents like mine, so having that support from friends and staying around the right crowd is so important.
An SBAT will put you in a better position
I now have a full-time job at Blackwoods and am mentoring their newest group of SBATs. It’s made me realise just how much I’ve learnt. I don’t know everything, but I know a lot more than when I first started.
There’s opportunity to keep learning and moving up in the business. I’m currently working towards getting my forklift license and a few more certifications and eventually my masters in warehousing and logistics.
My advice for students thinking about doing an SBAT
It’s a good experience and if you find out it’s not for you, there’s always something different to try. Getting those qualifications and potentially a full-time job straight out of school can change your life for the better.
Want to know more?
Visit My Future, My Culture, My Way, follow the Department of Education on social media, talk to your school, or contact your local Aboriginal Education Consultative Group (AECG).