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Class of ’22 ready for new pursuits


From medicine to law, computer science to performing arts – the top students from the Class of 2022 have their eyes firmly set on a wide cross section of careers.

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Last year, 3088 students from South Australia’s Catholic secondary schools obtained their SACE, with 21 students from Mercedes College completing the International Baccalaureate Diploma.

Highlights from the graduating group included 99.9 per cent SACE completion, with 346 merit certificates awarded to 281 students. There were 35.5 per cent of grades in the A band.

Congratulating the graduates, Catholic Education SA noted that this was the first group to spend its entire SACE/IB journey in the COVID-19 pandemic, and that students had ‘demonstrated incredible determination and resilience’ in the face of restrictions and other challenges.

Several of the duces of the Catholic colleges in the Archdiocese gathered on the steps of Parliament House last month for a photo shoot with The Southern Cross, to celebrate their outstanding achievements and reflect on their Year 12 experience.

Many spoke of their excitement as they prepare to embark on university studies, with a handful heading interstate to start their courses. Besides the often sought-after careers in medicine and law, some are planning to study computer science, electrical engineering, human movement, philosophy and science.

Dux of Cardijn College, Imogen Brown, will be pursuing her love of music and drama through a Bachelor of Performing Arts at Federation University, Ballarat campus. Like many of her peers, she took on extra responsibilities during Year 12 and described her role as college captain as an “amazing experience and opportunity” but also a “huge commitment”.

“Something I had to learn was finding the right balance between focusing on my studies, leadership, a social life, extracurricular commitments such as netball, music, Class of Cabaret and my position as the Adelaide June Bronhill Scholar in the Australian Girls Choir, and finally also taking time for myself to relax and reset,” she said.

“The advice I would provide to others is to give Year 12 your all as it is realistically only a short period of time. Work hard and take as many opportunities as you can.”

Lucas Sacca, Dux of St Paul’s College agreed, adding that it was “paramount” to find an appropriate balance between study and life.

“Don’t forget to indulge in the things that make us human – spend time with family and friends, do things that bring joy,” he said. “Ensure you do not become a slave to the notion that you must spend every waking moment buried in a book to succeed!”

For Laura Wildman, Dux of Our Lady of the Sacred Heart College, her Year 12 experience was made easier by starting her preparation in Year 11.

“I did Year 12 subject revision courses at the University of Adelaide in Year 11 before I’d even learnt the content at school,” she explained.

“During Year 12 I gave up reading and video games to dedicate more time to study and my duties as college vice-captain. I continued to play netball and attend weekly kickboxing/jiu jitsu classes to stay active and maintain a positive mindset.”

Joint Dux of St Ignatius’ College, Jasmin Wu, who is moving to Sydney to study computer science and maths, said she felt ready for university life after completing Programming and Psychology in the Adelaide University’s Headstart program.

“I juggled my Year 12 study load with making programming projects, such as a random recipe generator, an ATAR calculator and a song request bot for radio stations,” she said.

“My advice would probably be to apply for a program like Headstart because you’re able to try out subjects at tertiary level and get involved in uni clubs and societies.”

Jamie Siggurs, who was Dux of Mary MacKillop College, was unable to attend the photo shoot but wanted to share her personal experience of achieving success despite self doubt.

“I never viewed myself as a high achiever nor someone capable of getting dux,” she said.

“For those who are stepping into Year 12 pessimistically like I once was, know that no matter past grades or gaps in knowledge, anyone is capable of success.”


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