It was an exciting moment tinged with sadness when Dominic Lawrence graduated from Belmont City College’s Follow The Dream program at the end of 2014. Dominic had been part of the program since joining the College in Year 8 and had consistently been one of the hardest workers in the program. Dominic matured into a reliable and respected young man who was admired by teachers and peers alike. For these reasons, the Follow The Dream program had no hesitation supporting Dominic’s application to win a BHP Billiton apprenticeship when applications opened near the end of 2014.
After going through a thorough selection process, Dominic who was finishing Year 11 at Belmont City College, deservedly won one of only five BHP apprenticeships available; a fantastic achievement considering there were over 1200 applicants, including adults and Year 12 graduates. BHP Billiton, along with The Polly Farmer Foundation, has been an invaluable industry partner of Belmont’s Follow The Dream program since 2013. For this reason it was even more pleasing that Dominic was moving into a career with the company that had supported his education for many years.
“Follow The Dream was really important in helping me get to where I am today. It taught me that I needed to work hard, be reliable, punctual and never give up no matter how hard things got. Although we always worked really hard to become the best we can be, coming to tutoring sessions never seemed like extra work because I was with other students who also were trying to achieve their best. We are like a family who supports each other. I still can’t believe that I won such a good apprenticeship with a company like BHP and I know I have Follow The Dream to thank for it,” Dominic said. He has not forgotten the Follow The Dream “family” that gave him so much. He frequently visits during after-school tutoring sessions to talk with and motivate younger students to continue to work hard and never give up.
BHP Billiton Iron Ore and the Western Australian Education Department have supported the programs in Belmont (metropolitan area) in WA since 2013.