PROFILE: BEN DUNN
Ben graduated from BHCS two years ago now… it was great to hear about what he has accomplished in his first two years out of school! So without further ado…
“I attended BHCS my whole school life. I don’t think the school had even 100 students when I started. I graduated in 2014…and with that, started on a journey that I’m still trying to make sense of.
I had my whole post-school life planned out from when I was 15. Finish Year 12; move to Sydney to study at Hillsong College; move back after a year and then do an electrical apprenticeship; get married and have a family; and then eventually open my own business; etc… but how quickly life can change. Quick tip, write your plans in pencil, but your convictions in pen.
At first, I didn’t have the funds required to move to Sydney, so I took up a Surveying Course at RMIT, while I worked multiple jobs to save for Sydney. My plans had changed, but I was always committed to still move to Sydney eventually.
I ended up making enough money to move to Sydney in July, 2015; and so I left behind all my family and friends that I had made over 18 years and started my adult life in a place where I knew nothing and no one. I’m currently in my second year of Hillsong International Leadership College. I’ve completed my Cert IV in Ministry and right now I’m studying a Diploma in Ministry, with plans to head into a Bachelor of Theology, and possibly Business.
Life in Sydney is so very different, but it has grown on me a lot. My College is a blessing in terms of the vast majority of Nations represented, they only have around 10% Australian students, while the rest is made from a majority of American and European students. It’s weird to say that you have close friends all over the world, but so awesome at the same time. I share a house with some of the greatest people from around the world; but how very difficult it can be with so many different values in one place.
My Cert IV studies were focused more on music skills, where I had the incredible opportunity of playing at our chapel and extension services. I’ve changed my study focus to Pastoral Leadership now, with my main focus being in kids and youth ministries. I honestly have to pinch myself so often just thinking about the incredible things we get to do up here. I had the privilege of serving in our KIDSONG – kids conference, that runs at Hillsong Conference. Being able to hang out with literally thousands of kids everyday was just next level. I serve in our kids ministry on Sundays, doing everything from playing music for our babies or cooking over 700 pancakes, to preaching for our insanely fun late primary aged kids.
We just finished our ‘Invest in Your Family’ week at church, and I had the honour of serving in KIDSFEST (a day of rides, games, amazing music and preaching for primary aged school kids.) I was also apart of the filming for our church’s TV channel, which was an incredible experience in itself; as well as taking part in filming TV show segments for the kid’s programs.
It’s an honour and privilege to serve the younger generation and to encourage them along their journey. I currently work as a waiter at an Italian restaurant, which has been a blessing. Meeting so many great people, and making great connections. My spare time is spent exploring abandoned buildings around NSW, and adventuring up and down the coast and discovering new amazing places. I’ve become quite interested in photography, so this has been a very fun hobby – jumping in the car with a few mates and driving a few hours to find a cool spot to chill for the day.
I do miss my family and friends back home in Melbourne, I keep in touch with a few people from school but it’s hard when you live so far away. It’s great listening to Azzan Schuster on LightFM and hearing what others like Daniel, David, Kerryl and Jem are doing. It is just so inspiring to see people you did such a large part of life with start walking out what they desire and dream so confidently and with so much passion. I think that was one of the great parts about Belgrave as a school, the relationships that were built were always about building people towards their life dreams and goals. They always cared about your education; but more than that, the staff and teachers cared even greater about the character that students were developing during their time there.
I’m forever grateful for the moments of wisdom with Mr. Smith, the gifted storytelling and leadership development of Seskis, Davidson and Callow; and so many others. I’m so blessed to have been a part of school that I miss. One of my all time favourite memories will forever be taking part in the Vetamorphus program and going overseas to Fiji to serve the schools and communities out there. What other school provides that opportunity!?
If could leave you with some advice it would be that life is never going to go as you plan it; but you decide the person you will be through the journey of it. Don’t be a product of your situation or circumstance, you define the person you will be in those times. Mark your convictions of who you’ll be during the ‘highs’ or ‘mountain tops’ of life, and then walk them out in the ‘lows’ or ‘valleys’. You can accomplish the impossible if you really desire too. Live boldly, push yourself and don’t settle. I can’t wait to hear and see what you accomplish!”
We feel so inspired hearing about what Ben has been up to. It’s so wonderful to see him, and many other BHCS Alumni, living out the plans that God has in store for them. Ben we wish you all the best in Sydney as you continue to study and work hard. We can’t wait to hear more about where this journey takes you!