Hamish McConachy is living proof that if you know what you want and work hard, almost anything is possible.
Mr McConachy, 19, left his hometown of Cobden earlier this year to fulfill his dream of joining the army.
Not only did he complete basic training at the Kapooka training base in Wagga Wagga, but he was also honoured with the Cameron Baird award for most outstanding soldier at the march out parade last week.
Parents and Cobden newsagents Karen and Andrew McConachy couldn’t be prouder.
“He’s chosen something and he’s stuck at it and worked very hard,” Mrs McConachy said.
“It something that he’s always wanted to do. We’re very proud.”
Hamish finished year 12 at Mercy Regional College in 2016 and worked for a Colac landscaper before his enlistment in the army in July this year.
“He was a cadet with the 34th Colac Army Cadet Unit and reached the highest rank possible there,” Mrs McConachy said.
”He is testament that if you know what you want, with hard work, you can achieve it.”
Hamish is now bound for Singleton, New South Wales, where he will undertake 17 weeks of infantry training.
Once that is complete he will be posted to a base in either Darwin, Townsville or Brisbane.
“He’s loving it up there. He’s found his niche,” Mrs McConachy said.
The Cameron Baird VC MG Award is named in honour of Corporal Cameron Baird, who was killed in Afghanistan’s Uruzgan Province in June 2013.
He was posthumously awarded the Victoria Cross – the highest award in the Australian honours system – in February 2014, for his valour and self-sacrifice.
Hamish is just the second person to receive the Baird award, which was introduced in 2016.