Daniel Dal Bon

Trade - Metal Manufacturing


I finished my High School with a University Entrance Ranking of 44, which was not too impressive.

With few options to choose, I commenced an apprenticeship as a Boilermaker. For those who, like me at the time, don’t know what that is, it’s a person who works cutting, fabricating and welding steel.

In 1996, I was 20 years old and in my third year of apprenticeship, when I received the BBM Trades Award and embarked on a life-changing experience; undertaking five months of work experience throughout the East Anglia region of England.

I often explain that I went away a boy and returned as a man;

  • The experience forced me to learn to stand on my own two feet, without mum or dad as an immediate safety net.
  • I became the master of my own destiny
  • I developed new friendships and networks – some of which I still maintain, and
  • I had the opportunity to explore and experience travel throughout the UK and Europe.

BBM gave me an opportunity and opened experiences that I may never have pursued at that point in my life.

It opened my eyes and my mind to possibility, self-belief and a realisation that my life and career could take whatever direction I wanted it to.

So on return from my BBM experience, I completed my trade and over the next decade developed in other ways through employment. I worked as an industrial sales representative, selling welding and cutting gases, using my trade and technical knowledge. I worked as a marketing representative in a labour hire and recruitment firm. I worked in a contract engineering firm, planning and resourcing labour for projects and maintenance work.

Along the way I continued educating myself, obtaining industry qualifications and completing certificates at TAFE before taking the big leap to university, where after 6years of part-time night study I completed a Bachelor of Commerce, majoring in HR.

For the past 11 years I’ve been employed by Broadspectrum, a large contracting firm delivering essential services to clients across multiple sectors, employing over 12,000 people. Presently I am working as a National HR Manager for Broadspectrum’s Government Sector.

Although I’ve come a long way, I still don’t know what I want to do when I grow up. I’m married with three children, and life is incredibly full and never dull and boring.

This is my journey, and I encourage any young apprentices to start thinking about theirs.

In an extremely competitive workplace, your qualifications are merely your ‘ticket to the game’.

Qualifications are the ‘tangible’ outcome of your educational efforts, but it’s the intangible elements that will set you apart from others – from your competition.

Having the right mix of qualifications and personal attributes is what I regard as the key to career success.

For me, a learned ability to self-reflect and analyse my behaviours and performance has been particularly useful. I’ve also had some very good role models and personal and professional mentoring along the way, which has benefited me greatly.

Employers have high expectations – and why shouldn’t they?

Just like you they want value for money. Their investment in you is generally for your skills and expertise, but you can offer so much more; if you choose to!

Your values and your work ethic are your brand. It’s powerful stuff.

The discretionary efforts you contribute, those beyond the minimum expectations, are what employers really value.

A BBM global industry scholarship is an amazing opportunity, and I hope many more young Australians will benefit from the experience, as I certainly have.

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