Young Eurobodalla HSC graduates have heeded the cry for more rural doctors, with the shire’s top-ranking student off to medical school and several others weighing their choices.
St Peter’s Anglican College, Broulee, is celebrating its own and the shire’s highest ATAR ranking, with Shaun McPherson’s score of 96.9.
The Surf Beach 18-year-old was accelerated in mathematics last year, earning 95 per cent, and proved it was no fluke with a 93 per cent in chemistry this year and other subjects in the high 80s.
“I have applied for the University of NSW and the University of Newcastle medical schools, so hopefully I will get into the rural entry course at either,” Mr McPherson said.
“In the past few years I have thought, wow, I really have an opportunity to do something like that and it has really interested me. I always thought it was a very noble profession and something I could get behind. I also like research.”
He said the doctor shortage was “a national crisis”.
Mr McPherson thinks his dad, Andrew, who passed away when he was eight, would be proud.
Moruya High School’s Felix Ziergiebel had a physical response to his ATAR of 95.85.
“I fist-pumped,” he said.
The Mossy Point 18-year-old is the son of doctors Jorg Ziergiebel and Anke Dutschke, but is resisting leaping straight into medicine, even though it is his most likely course of action.
“I am just toying with the idea at the moment, that is why I am having a gap year,” he said.
“If I go to the University of NSW, I can get into the rural medicine
program. In a rural area, is a really honorable job.”
Meanwhile, he’s off to volunteer in Brazil, first at a wildlife sanctuary and then in community service and teaching.
“It will open my eyes,” he said.
Tyler Adams surprised himself with an ATAR of 92.7 and medicine is now on his radar.
“I was planning on physiotherapy at the University of Canberra and I was also thinking of medical science at the Australian National University,” the 17-year-old Moruya student said.
“But now I am going to have another look around and see what I can do. I think medicine in the long run and physio in the short term.
“I have always seen myself, ever since I was a kid, working in a hospital.”
Elen Welch, 18, scored 90 in mathematics and an ATAR of 92.25, but had already gained early entry to a Bachelor of Science at Sydney University. Medical science may also be on the cards for her, but she’s keeping her options open.
Carroll College’s Alexandra West scored an ATAR of 85.2 and is having a gap year working at Tuross Head pharmacy. She hopes to eventually enrol in a medical science degree.
Jacob Ingram, from Batemans Bay High School, was so eager to check his ATAR result yesterday morning; he slept next to his laptop.
“I had my laptop next to me last night ready, so it was waiting for me this morning,” he said.
He was proud as punch when his computer revealed his ATAR result of 94.2 at 8.30am.
He hopes to study law and arts at Australian National University.
“I was hoping to get around that, I’m hoping to become a barrister,” he said.
Several Moruya High School students were celebrating Band Six marks (90 per cent and above) yesterday. Tyler Litchfield scored 90 for Personal Development, Health and Physical Education.
The Sunshine Bay student gained an ATAR of 87, but already had early entry to Wollongong University to study engineering.
He hopes to be a civil engineer and work overseas.
“I enjoy maths and problem-solving,” he said.
Moruya’s Helen Cahill scored 90 per cent for Extension English, Biology and Modern History, giving her an ATAR of 91.3 and a good chance of entering Veterinary Science.
“I was very happy but I won’t be completely happy until I know if I have got in,” she said.
“I have always wanted to be a vet,” she said.
Ms Cahill says she will get there even if she has to enrol in a related science course and “work really hard, get a high grade average and go across”.
Classmate Amelia Berry, 18, scored 94 per cent in Ancient History and 93 per cent in Textiles and Design and an overall ATAR of 87.2.
“Textiles and Design was a subject I had to choose because I could not get on the same line in Year 11, but it turned out I did really well in my design project and now look what it got me,” she said.
She loves sport and hopes to study sports science and nutrition.
Carroll College’s school captain Georgia Melrose scored 94 in General Maths, 91 in PDHPE and an ATAR of 88.55, well above the 80 she needed after gaining early entry to exercise physiology at the University of NSW.
“I was stoked,” she said, in between serving customers at Tyler’s Pantry.
Carroll College was unable to gain permission from other high ranking students in time to speak to the Bay Post/Moruya Examiner yesterday, however several earned 90 per cent or higher in subjects including General Maths, Community and Family studies, Hospitality and PDHPE.
With an HSC cohort of 13 students, St Peter’s was celebrating two students in Band Six for Business Studies and several others just missing out, with scores of 88 and 89. Four had already gained early entry to university.