Top school leavers announced

Published Saturday, 15 February, 2020 at 12:01 PM

Minister for Education and Minister for Industrial Relations
The Honourable Grace Grace

The next generation of Queensland doctors, veterinarians, space engineers and scientists have been honoured at a ceremony in Brisbane today.

Education Minister Grace Grace congratulated the state’s brightest young minds from the class of 2019 at the Queensland Certificate of Education (QCE) Achievement Awards.

The 2019 graduating cohort was the final group of students to receive OPs.

From this year, a new tertiary entrance system is in place, with the Australian Tertiary Admission Rank (ATAR) replacing the Overall Position (OP) as the standard pathway to tertiary study.

The awards were held at the State Library of Queensland where 34 graduates received prizes in six categories.

Ms Grace presented the top award of Outstanding Academic Achiever to James Vandeleur who attended The Rockhampton Grammar School. James received a certificate, trophy, and $5000.

“James’ remarkable Year 12 results placed him ahead of more than 37,700 of his peers,” Ms Grace said.

“He achieved to the highest standards in eight school subjects, the Queensland Core Skills Test, pursued enrichment studies in music and drama, and received an ATAR of 99.95.

“James hopes to become a research scientist in the field of space exploration.

“He’ll take the next step towards that goal by studying for a Bachelor of Advanced Science at The University of Queensland.”

Ms Grace said the awards highlighted the strength of senior schooling in Queensland.

“The award winners attended 27 different State, Catholic and Independent schools from all over Queensland,” she said.

“All our students rightfully have opportunities to succeed no matter where they live or go to school.”

The QCAA chief executive officer Chris Rider praised the role of school communities.

“I commend the principals and teachers who shaped the learning cultures in which the award winners thrived,” Mr Rider said.

“This is also a proud day for families. Their support will have been instrumental to the achievements of these young people.

“All of the award winners should prosper in their further studies and make valuable contributions in careers ranging from human rights law to rocket science, engineering, cyber security, medicine and veterinary science.”

The QCE Achievement Awards are sponsored by Griffith University, Queensland University of Technology and The University of Queensland.

The award criteria and prizes can be viewed at:

Outstanding Academic Achiever:

  • James Vandeleur, The Rockhampton Grammar School

Highest Achievement by an Aboriginal Student or Torres Strait Islander Student:

  • Lachlan Kamilaroi Toovey, Anglican Church Grammar School

Highest Result on the Queensland Core Skills Test:

  • Timothy Weber, Brisbane Grammar School

Distinguished Academic Achievers:

  • Calder Barksdale, Brisbane State High School
  • Xavier Catford, Brisbane Boys’ College
  • Elise Chant, Lourdes Hill College
  • Benjamin Cornwell, Marist College Ashgrove
  • Tara Duckworth, St Andrew’s Catholic College
  • Kynan Elliott, Toolooa State High School
  • James English, Brisbane Boys’ College
  • Sunny Fan, Brisbane State High School
  • Mia Forsingdal, Cannon Hill Anglican College
  • Jack Gardiner, St Joseph's College, Gregory Terrace
  • Megan Gardner, Kenmore State High School
  • George Griswold, Brisbane State High School
  • Riley Guyatt, Indooroopilly State High School
  • Sofie Halfpenny, The Glennie School
  • Heidi Houghton, Grace Lutheran College
  • James Hurst, St Joseph's College, Gregory Terrace
  • Ella Lau, St Aidan’s Anglican Girls’ School
  • Jianan Lin, Brisbane Grammar School
  • Madeleine Orr, Brisbane State High School
  • Teresa Poon, Redeemer Lutheran College
  • Lucy Robertson, Nambour Christian College
  • Ella Robins, Narangba Valley State High School
  • Sarah Ryan, All Hallows' School
  • John Saxon, Maroochydore State High School
  • Zennjo Searle, Matthew Flinders Anglican College
  • Kevin Song, Somerset College
  • Ameliija Swaffer-Selff, Moura State High School
  • James Vandeleur, The Rockhampton Grammar School
  • Timothy Weber, Brisbane Grammar School
  • Hannah Wheeler, St Peters Lutheran College
  • Jackson Wuoti, All Saints Anglican School

Highest Achievement by an International Student:

  • Taehwan Kim, Brisbane Boys’ College

Highest Achievement in the International Baccalaureate:

  • Aydin Neighbour, Queensland Academy for Health Sciences

Media contact: Brock Taylor – 0427 018 178