It was a perfect spring day, and Luke de Laeter (12M) was in the middle of the bush in Jarrahdale, moving bee hives. His mobile phone was out of range, so he missed the telephone call from the CEO of School Curriculum and Standards Authority. It was on his drive home hours later, when he learned that he was awarded the prestigious 2020 Beazley Medal: Vocational Education and Training (VET).
‘I never thought I was going to win, as heaps of students were going for it. I was so excited, when I told my mum, she gave me a big hug,’ said Luke.
Luke’s mum, Mrs Sarah de Laeter, the Junior School’s Sustainability Garden teacher was thrilled. ‘Whoever thought a 14th birthday present of the beehive would lead to a Beazley Medal? I’m a very proud mum,’ she said.
Just four years ago, Luke developed an interest in bees when his parents gave him a small hive for his birthday. That initial spark of interest has grown into a passion for Luke that has led him on a remarkable journey following a vocational pathway through his senior school years. Luke is now employed by commercial honey producer, Red Earth Honey, and is doing what he loves full-time.
Luke’s story is an inspiring example of where finding your passion and a commitment to personal excellence and hard work can lead. It is also testament that VET pathways can be another route to successful and rewarding careers.
Mr Jim Walker (pictured above with Luke), Chair of College Council and Chair of the State Training Board – WA, believes VET gives students a number of options, whether they are looking at continuing tertiary education in VET or higher education at university.
‘Many times when I am talking with young people about their future vocation, the first question I ask is, “what are your hobbies and or passion?” This is always a great starting point for a discussion. In Luke’s case, he has been able to do exactly that. Luke has always had a passion and hobby for bees and with his vision for the future, Luke has put together a Vocational Education Training (VET) pathway at Wesley College to obtain a Certificate III in Beekeeping, Certificate III in Business, Certificate II in Visual Arts and a Certificate II in Information, Digital Media and Technology,’ said Mr Walker.
Academic achievements aside, Luke’s self-confessed bee obsession saw him start his own business conducting school incursions across Perth.
‘I’ve visited more than 100 schools/events and 10,000 students and adults sharing the important link between bees and a sustainable future. Next year, I am excited to launch my new website BuzzEd Australia: Teaching the Importance of Bees with online incursions, lesson plans, and big plans for the future,’ said Luke.
‘We are proud of and inspired by Luke and congratulate him for all he has achieved. The fact he was able to find his niche and passion while at the College is a shining example that there is more than one way to success.’ said Headmaster Mr Ross Barron.
Find out more about Luke’s Bees
Facebook and Instagram: @LukesBeesBicton
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