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     LACHLAN O’BRIEN

“When it comes to application time, people go into a frenzy, pumping out dozens of resumes and applications.”

I am a first-year lawyer at Hunt & Hunt Lawyers.

Even though I grew up around law, with my father and some other family being lawyers, I wasn’t 100% set on law as a kid. But I started doing Legal Studies in year 11, which got me hooked. Law controls so much of our lives, if you think about it: it governs the way people interact, how business is run – even how the country is run.

Because I didn’t have the marks to get straight into a Law degree, I decided to do a Bachelor of Legal Studies at Latrobe. It’s related to law, but more as a sociological study of law, which I thought would be interesting. Continue reading

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     GARY BRILL

“It was my lucky break: ass, not class!”

Having sold my car dealership business, I am currently semi-retired, working on various property development projects.

From early childhood, I developed a drive to earn money. My dad and I lived in a one bedroom apartment, and instead of a car, he had a motorbike with a sidecar. We’d go camping, with our little old tent wedged between the bike and the sidecar, and I noticed other families arriving with cars and trailers, and bigger tents. We’d go walking and I’d note the lavish holiday homes we encountered.

All these things triggered something in me, and I became very materialistic from a young age, a trait that guided much of life – perhaps not for the best.  Continue reading

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     SIMON SPINA

“You have to be fast, you don’t want to be the one causing a hold up.”

I am a concrete patcher.

When I left school, I wanted to do forensic science. But at the time, I was under the impression that forensics was only done by the police and that they didn’t have a lot of spots to take people in, so it was hard to get into. I kind of missed that opportunity.

Instead, I started a diploma in electronics and did it for a year. I liked electronics, but this was geared towards TV repairs, which wasn’t really what I wanted to do, so I didn’t end up finishing. Continue reading

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     EUGENE DOLGIKH

“I might have actually helped to save a life through one of the safety messages I created.”

I am a writer, currently working as a Communications Advisor at the Department of Economic Development, Jobs, Transport and Resources (DEDJTR).

My family emigrated to Australia 25 years ago, when I was eight. From an early age, I enjoyed writing and literature. An early success that I can remember was winning a spelling contest in primary school, having been in the country for only 6 months. So it was nice to know that I’ve got a strength in a particular area. Continue reading

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     PRODIP ROY

“If you need to, sell your blood. But never stop your child from attending school”.

I am a Library Officer (Digital Collections) Copyright, Digitisation and Repositories at the RMIT University in Melbourne.

My life was full of struggle since childhood. I was born in Bangladesh. My parents never encouraged me to go to school due to an extreme poverty in family; there was no food to eat every day, no money to buy study materials, pay school fees. I had to help my parents with farming to survive, and often my mother would tell me off for taking the time to study. Continue reading

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     SAM KORBAN

“Your point of difference might be that you’re always available.”

I am a finance broker.

In high school, like most people, I had no idea what I wanted to do. Finance was the furthest thing from my mind. I graduated with marks that weren’t lousy, but weren’t great, either. I did a legal studies course at RMIT, thinking it may be a pathway to a law degree.

That didn’t quite work out. I started doing temp jobs at various law firms. Basically, I was carrying folders and filing for barristers. It was boring. Continue reading

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      ROY ADAMS

“Wealth building happens outside of the 9-5”

I am a property investment coach.

I wasn’t a very good student in high school, mostly because I had a very difficult relationship with my parents: we didn’t get on at all. Home life was a constant struggle, which overflowed into my school life. I barely graduated.

After school, I went straight to the army for my compulsory military service. I didn’t like the army either. I mean, it’s not like I was expecting to get a nice ‘thank you’ – I realized I was doing my duty – but the commanders went out of their way to abuse and humiliate us, which cut too close to the bone, reminding me of home. Continue reading

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     TERRY BARNES

“And the more I looked at it, the more I saw: yes, it is a winner! It’s genius!”

I run a RAMS Home Loans franchise.

In year 12, I had two different music teachers: one of them was horrendous and one was really good. So I decided there should be more good music teachers in the world, and I would become one of them. I liked music enough, and didn’t know what else to do with my life, so that seemed like a good idea.

I did a year and a half of a primary school teaching course, which ended up being a disaster. Whilst I was OK at the academic part of it, I found out during the practical components that I was no good with kids! After failing the teaching round, I left and joined my dad’s business, installing electronics like security systems, antennas and home theatre systems. Continue reading

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All photos provided by Rochelle Lindsay

     ROCHELLE LINDSAY

“ED would be a bloodbath night after night.”

I’m a registered nurse working with aboriginal peoples in remote Australia.

When I had to fill in my university application, I wasn’t completely sure what I was going to do. I put down for both nursing and for a Bachelor of Arts. I was accepted to Griffith University Gold Coast for nursing and started uni in 1997. I have not looked back since.

I loved uni and did quite well. I chose to do my grad year at Longreach as both my grandparents lived in rural areas. I quite liked the idea of doing a rural placement. Little did I know that 17 years later I would still be out bush (despite promising my best friend to be back in a year!) Continue reading

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     SHIKHA MONDAL

“From my heart, I care for the patients; I feel a deep need to help them.”

I work as a registered nurse at Epworth Hospital in Melbourne.

When I finished year twelve in Bangladesh, my family insisted that I go into nursing. It wasn’t my first choice at all. I wanted to be a university lecturer, an academic. In my country, if you’re a good student, you study engineering, or medicine. Usually nursing is for those who are not the best students, or students from poor socio-economic background in Bangladesh.

But my parents sent me to study nursing because they thought that as a nurse, I’d be guaranteed at least a government job, and so I’d always be able to work and survive. I applied for the biggest medical college in Bangladesh. I sat my entrance exam very successfully, and got a chance to study nursing with scholarship. Continue reading