St Brendan's College deputy principal Paul Horan and students Jackson Omlid, Rubens Bartley and Hugh Johnston see a bright future. Photo Darryn Nufer.
St Brendan's College deputy principal Paul Horan and students Jackson Omlid, Rubens Bartley and Hugh Johnston see a bright future. Photo Darryn Nufer.

Yeppoon whizz kid gets unreal overseas job offer

IMAGINE walking into your senior year of high school knowing you have a plum job to go to when you graduate.

That's the scenario for St Brendan's College student Jackson Omlid.

The 16 year old has been offered a position with Weta Workshop in New Zealand, a world-leading design and special effects company servicing the television and film industries.

The company has been involved in movies such as Lord of the Rings, Avatar, Narnia and many more.

Jackson's is just one of many positive stories emerging from the first week of the school year at the Yeppoon catholic secondary facility for boys.

St Brendan's enters 2020 with record student enrolment numbers, significant capital upgrades completed, and the demand has led to a boost in staffing levels.

This year 790 students will study at the college - a 12 per cent rise in enrolments from 2019. Some 263 of these youth are boarders.

This increase is supported by 30 new staff across teaching, boarding, sport and administration functions.

College deputy principal Paul Horan said a number of factors had fuelled the surge in student numbers.

"There's a growing interest for people to be living on the Capricorn Coast," he said.

"I think Yeppoon numbers are increasing and that's given us a proportionate increase in our local boys.

"We've also picked up significantly in our boarding numbers as well.

"I think that's a result of a combination of targeted marketing, increasing our bus runs and making sure we've got significant stopping points along the way, and a concerted effort over the past five to 10 years to deliver a better educational package and improve the aesthetics of our grounds ."

The college has recently been boosted by a $3.6 million redevelopment of the Ambrose Treacy Centre, a multi-purpose building used for sport which also boasts gym and canteen facilities as well as an art gallery.

The centre also incorporates exam, class, function and board rooms.

Student Jackson Omlid, originally from Canada, has studied at St Brendan's since Year 7.

"We moved to Australia about eight years ago and have been living at Yeppoon since," he said.

"I went to primary school here in Yeppoon and St Brendan's just always had a really good reputation. It was kind of not negotiable, we just knew we had to come here."

Jackson does a lot of tech-based learning which includes 3D modelling and printing.

"I also very much enjoy the arts and IT," he said.

And the future looks bright for him when he graduates.

"I've been offered a job in New Zealand for Weta Workshop.

"Basically most movies you've seen, they've worked on.

"One of the more popular ones was Lord of the Rings.

"I'm not a huge fan of the distance and I'm seeing if I can work from home because a lot of it is movie modelling physically on a computer.

"So maybe I can do it online, see how that works, or I'm considering taking a gap year. I'm not entirely sure right now, I'm just trying to get through Year 12."

Fellow Year 12 student Rubens Bartley is a Yeppoon local who hasn't looked back since enrolling at St ­Brendan's. "Half of my primary schooling was at Taranganba State School but then I swapped to St Benedict's," he said.

"Everyone there was saying St Brendans is great, that was the general consensus, so just like Jackson it wasn't really a choice it was the natural way to go."

Year 9 student Hugh Johnston is in his first year at St Brendan's having come from Adelaide.

"My mum grew up in Biloela and she was looking at buying a business up here," he said.

"We came and saw it, it looked good, and now we're here."