MICHAEL O’Callaghan always knew his destiny was to join the armed forces.
Now that dream has been made just that little bit more achievable.
The year 12 Beechworth Secondary Student from Stanley has been accepted as a general service officer with the army.
Michael, 17, was yesterday also the proud recipient of the Bobby Garratt Memorial Australian Defence Force Academy award, which will see him receive $1000 to help him on his way forward.
It’s the fifth time the award has been given.
It was created seven years ago in memory of Bobby Garratt, a Catholic College Wodonga student who lost a battle with cancer before having the chance to live his own dreams of joining the ADF as a pilot.
Michael said he was “nothing but honoured” when he learnt of the award.
“I believe it will be an extremely rewarding career and will put me in good stead for whatever I choose to do later in life,” he said.
He recently went through a rigorous selection process that included spending several nights at the ADFA to gain a taste of what life is like for recruits.
“It definitely confirmed for me that that’s what I want,” Michael said.
Bobby’s mother, Julie Kiroluch, was involved in Michael’s selection with representatives from the academy and Bordertrust.
“He’s had a genuine interest in wanting to know more about the scholarship and Bobby,” she said.
“It was Bobby’s wish that any memorial should go towards helping other people go to the ADFA.
“So to be able to honour that is great.”