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Six South West students score over 99 in ATAR results

Nicolette BarbasBunbury Herald
Picture: Nicolette Barbas
Camera IconPicture: Nicolette Barbas

Hard work and determination has paid off for six South West students that scored exceptionally high in their ATAR results.

Schools including Bunbury Cathedral Grammar, Bunbury Catholic College, Georgiana Molloy Anglican School, Cape Naturaliste College, and Manjimup Senior High School all produced students with marks of 99 or higher including an incredible 99.80 from Margaret River Senior High School student Angus Dowden.

On Wednesday night, Luke Paoliello, pictured, joined thousands of West Australian students in finding out their Year 12 results.

The Bunbury Cathedral Grammar School student said his high score of 99.7 reflected his hard work.

“After school I probably spent a good four hours a day studying then leading up to my exams I was studying from the morning until the evening, it was kind of like a full-time job,” he joked.

“For most of my high schooling I knew I wanted to study medicine, now I just have to wait and see which university will accept me.”

With school wrapped up, the 17-year-old has been spending his spare time at St John of God Bunbury.

“I have been fortunate enough to have the opportunity to shadow cardiologist Dr Ali Morton and it has helped me confirm that I do want to study medicine and it is the career path I want to take,” he said.

Receiving a score of 99.6, Bunbury Catholic College student Blake Botica said he was nervous to find out how he scored, but pleased with the result.

“It was quite exhilarating seeing such a high ATAR score,” he said.

“I decided this year that I wanted to study engineering at Curtin University and knowing that is a possibility is exciting.

As the highest ATAR scoring female in the South West, Georgiana Molloy Anglican School student Hanna Bowden said she treated Year 12 as a way of setting herself up for university.

“ATAR wasn’t the be all or end all for me, but I wanted to set myself up for university so I worked hard for quite a long time and was thrilled to see that pay off,” she said.

“Studying for me was about quality over quantity, I aimed to study effectively for short periods of time rather.

“I’m hoping to get into the Bachelor of Philosophy at WA, hopefully this score will put me in a good position.”

Cape Naturaliste College student Misty Lakelin also received a high score and is hoping to attend Australian National University in Canberra to study physics.

“After studying physics as an ATAR subject I realised I wanted to continue learning about it,” she said.

“I find physics beautiful in a way and am fascinated by it.”

“The degree I am hoping to undertake is a bachelor of science with an honours.”

Manjimup Senior High School student Joel Karafilis said it was a nervous feeling knowing the results were one click away.

“I wasn’t really sure what to expect, especially seeing the exams take up 50 per cent of the ATAR score,” he said.

“A lot of hard work and a bit of luck during the exams helped me get through.”

Now that school is over and the results have been released, the 18-year-old said he plans to undertake a traineeship with Talison Lithium at the Greenbushes mine site in the lab.

“My first University preference is Curtin University where I hope to undertake a Mining and Engineering degree,” he said.

“With the Greenbushes mine being so close, an opportunity like this was too good to pass up.

“I can see myself in the future moving to Bridgetown to work as a mining engineer.”

The results released by Tertiary Institutions Service Centre showed that 11,156 WA students achieved an ATAR in 2019, with 15 of those students achieving the highest possible score of 99.95.

Centre chief executive officer Wayne Betts explained that while the ATAR was a useful tool for university admission purposes it should be kept in perspective.

“No single number can capture all the qualities that may make someone a successful university student,” Mr Betts said.

“We know it can be disappointing for some students receiving results that aren’t as strong as they hoped for, but there is always a path forward.”

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