High Achievers – Class of 2018

Matthew Hamdorf

What or who has been your inspiration for working hard?

My parents have always inspired me to give my best effort in everything I do, including school. They work hard to provide me with opportunities and avenues to succeed and I feel responsible to pay that forward with my own hard work and by striving for success.

What advice do you have for incoming Year 12 students?

Now is the time to knuckle down, concentrate on school and achieve your best results. Enjoy your social life and exercise, but keep everything in moderation and study hard. Focus on a few important things, like friends, family and staying healthy, and establish a routine that suits you. Year 12 isn’t supposed to be easy, but if everything goes well it will be fun and fulfilling.

How have you dealt with hurdles and challenges?

I found it useful to focus on the end result and my goals for the year. This helped me to realise the magnitude of different challenges and limit their negative impact on me. I was also fortunate to have supportive friends, family and teachers to lean on through difficult periods.

Who inspired you at Christ Church?

It may be clichéd to say, but every teacher I had at Christ Church was incredibly inspiring. They do a staggering amount of work behind the scenes to ensure the year runs smoothly and to help their students achieve above and beyond their potential. They are always approachable and willing to give advice or extra instruction and are a valuable asset to everyone’s personal growth and academic success.­

What is your plan for 2019 and beyond?

I plan to study medicine at university, but I also hope to continue to learn outside of that and expand my knowledge. Apart from that, I’m keeping my options open to see what opportunities arise.

 

William Hu

What or who has been your inspiration for working hard?

My inspiration for working hard has been a mix of the culture at Christ Church, among my close friends, and at home. Being surrounded by an atmosphere encouraging drive and focus played a big part in drawing these qualities out of me, and an internal sense of progress and learning also motivated me to try my best at all times.

What advice do you have for incoming year 12 students?

Work hard for your own goals, but more importantly, work smart. Different people learn in different ways, and taking down notes and doing rote memorisation isn’t going to be the best method for everyone – take a bit of time at the start of the year (or even better, in Year 11) to try different methods of study, different ways of organising yourself, your knowledge, and your skills. It might take some time to find your own perfect set-up and technique, but once you’ve got it, the rest of the ride is just that much smoother.

Also, keep in touch with your non-school-related passions; Year 12 might be a time to focus on studies but this doesn’t mean cutting off everything else entirely. Taking some time to relax here and there will be more beneficial to your mood and health, and make school-related commitments feel more manageable.

How have you dealt with hurdles and challenges?

Keeping things in perspective is a really helpful thing. Looking at challenges with a clear mind, assessing their scope and thinking about what the best course of action could be makes dealing with difficulties a lot less anxiety-inducing. Having a group of supportive friends, family, or staff that you can come to with any worries is also amazingly useful and I’m really grateful for all the wonderful people in my life who have been there when I needed someone to talk to.

Who inspired you at Christ Church?

The teachers at Christ Church are passionate about their subjects and teaching, and the feeling that they genuinely cared about my successes and failures was the most singularly inspiring thing. In particular, Miss West and Mr Lim from the Mathematics Department were amazing inspirations and worked their hardest to find my full potential.

What is your plan for 2019 and beyond?

Wherever I end up with university – in Perth, overstate or overseas – I definitely plan on keeping in touch with all of my passions. I’ll keep composing music and playing in ensembles, and most likely study something with a mathematical or scientific flavour. I’ll have to see where the future takes me, but as I settle into a new chapter of life after high school, I’ll take some new-found free time to look at personal projects and hobbies – from music and writing to paperfolding and puzzles.

 

Akio Ho

What or who has been your inspiration for working hard?

I’ve been inspired by my teachers and what I’ve learned in class; I worked hard because I enjoyed my subjects and wanted to do as well as I could! Working hard on subjects that allow you to take that knowledge into everyday life (like Politics and Law when reading the news), or where you have a tangible end product (like Art), is rewarding in itself and a large part of what inspired me.

What advice do you have for incoming Year 12 students?

Don’t forget to drink water and get some sunlight because you’re basically a house plant with more complicated emotions. Don’t be disheartened during exams, because you’re not alone — there are 200 other people in your year going through much of the same thing and two great psychologists who are ready to help in any way they can. Take a deep breath and remember how far you’ve come; your mental health is always more important than a few ATAR points!

How have you dealt with hurdles and challenges?

I downloaded actionforhappiness.org’s daily reminders which kept me focused on the bigger picture. I also spent time talking with friends – so find friends who build you up, who you can talk to about anything, and who will help you keep moving forward!

Who inspired you at Christ Church?

All of my teachers (Pre-Primary to Year 12) inspired me with their dedication, experience and passion for both their subject and us as students. Additionally, Mr Wynne, Mr Bayly and Father Frank are people who I see not just as leaders but good human beings who have earned respect from students and teachers alike.

What is your plan for 2019 and beyond?

I am applying to universities within Australia and overseas – whatever happens next will be dependent on where I decide to go and the opportunities that will invariably pop up when I least expect. In the meantime, I’m planning on spending time learning more Chinese, using Duolingo Norwegian, and helping the non-profit organisation StandOut WA.

 

Amitabh Jeganathan

What or who has been your inspiration for working hard?

I believe that the environment at Christ Church has truly been conducive for academic rigour and excellence. I always aspired to reach the levels of the students in older years, in every aspect of school life. In addition, the support of my parents and the staff at school has been invaluable.

What advice do you have for incoming Year 12 students?

Set clear goals for yourself at the start of the year, and decide how much work you are willing to put in. It is not feasible to work all the time, and doing so will only hurt you. Instead, find a balance between work and play, ensuring that the balance you strike allows you to relax, while also allowing you to put the work you need to put in to reach your goals, at whatever level they are. Hence, no two students will find the same balance.

How have you dealt with hurdles and challenges?

The School has a fantastic support network, from tutors to Heads of House and staff who are skilled and proactive in seeking to maintain student morale and wellbeing. Our parents are also empowered to care for us and the many challenges that undoubtedly come with school, and Year 12. I definitely would not have achieved the results I did without the help of these people at every step of the way.

Who inspired you at Christ Church?

There were definitely many role models for me at Christ Church. I think those that really stood out are Mr Casson, Mr Bayly, Mr Foster and Dr Sisson, for the passion with which they attack their respective fields, and the example they constantly set for all students.

What is your plan for 2019 and beyond?

I plan on studying medicine at UWA. However, I also hope to pursue acting and music at university. I feel empowered for the future thanks to the holistic nature of Christ Church. At the moment however, I’m just enjoying my time with the lifelong friends I’ve made at Christ Church, and learning Norwegian!

 

Henry Pemberton

What or who has been your inspiration for working hard?

In my experience, a competitive environment as well as the high quality of teaching at Christ Church have both contributed to a hard-working culture at the School. Through the Careers Office, I was well informed of the ATAR requirements for the university courses that I was interested in, which was a constant motivator for me to reach my potential for every assessment in order to achieve the results that I wanted.

What advice do you have for incoming Year 12 students?

At the start of Year 12, the practice of time management and the development of a study routine become critical. As is often said, Year 12 is a marathon, not a sprint and you need to find a balance between spending time with friends, playing sport, participating in co-curricular activities and studying. For me, I found timetabling the day in advance reduced the temptation to procrastinate. Finally, I would suggest that boys turn their phones off or to ‘Do not disturb’ mode while studying as it can greatly increase your efficiency.

How have you dealt with hurdles and challenges?

There is no doubt that Year 12s will receive at least one disappointing mark or experience some kind of failure in this tumultuous year. The first step is accepting that this happened and analysing not only the assessment and the feedback from your teacher, but also your study routine leading up to it to find what you could have done better. For future assessments, modify your study routine where you believe it could be improved. Furthermore, your tutor, teachers and parents can offer you advice and assistance if you ever need it.

Who inspired you at Christ Church?

Christ Church students are very fortunate to have incredibly dedicated teachers, however, some go beyond in ensuring that all their boys receive as much support as they need and, with their passion for a subject, inspire their students to share in this passion as well. Teachers such as Mr Walker, Ms West and Madame Rosinel were always willing to give up their own time to help students one-on-one and had a contagious enthusiasm for their respective subjects from which all students benefitted.

What is your plan for 2019 and beyond?

Ideally next year, I will be studying a Bachelor of Philosophy with Honours at UWA, majoring in Medical Studies with Assured Entry to Medicine. I would also like to increase my involvement with North Cottesloe Surf Life Saving Club and start travelling with friends around the world.

 

Rohan Maloney

What or who has been your inspiration for working hard?

My parents, teachers and friends have all helped me persevere throughout my academic and co-curricular activities since joining Christ Church in Year 7. My parents have always helped me manage my workload, especially when I started at the School and found a lot more homework than I had ever experienced during primary school.

What advice do you have for incoming Year 12 students?

I encourage all incoming Year 12s to work hard at their academic subjects, but to also keep up with the other facets of their life. It is important to maintain a good social life and a broad experience of co-curricular activities, to look after your mental health and wellbeing, but also to gain a broader education and increase employability.

How have you dealt with hurdles and challenges?

When I was struggling with a topic or task my mates and I would always support each other and see it through. When I received a bad mark and felt down, my teachers were always there to reassure me that I will bounce back and learn from the experience.

What is your plan for 2019 and beyond?

Next year I am looking to study computer science at the University of New South Wales.

 

Albert Smith

What or who has been your inspiration for working hard?

I am partly inspired by an innate desire to do well, and out of friendly competition with my friends. I am also inspired to work hard by my parents, who themselves worked very hard to allow me to receive a first-class education at Christ Church.

What advice do you have for incoming Year 12 students?

Year 12 is a difficult year for everyone. You can expect to be pushed harder than you’ve been pushed during your entire school journey, up until now. I would like to say that it’s important to maintain your work ethic in this particularly challenging year. On the other hand, don’t push yourself harder than you can handle. It’s necessary to strike a balance between academics and keeping your social life alive. In addition to this, it is always good to stay prepared; you will save yourself many headaches by trying to complete assignments as soon as you get them.

How have you dealt with hurdles and challenges?

One of the main ways I dealt with challenges was to remember that it’s all temporary, and everything is a learning experience. It’s not useful to dwell on the negative aspects and I found it much more beneficial to turn the situation on its head and instead, use it as motivation to do better next time.

Who inspired you at Christ Church?

My friends and teachers have been greatly inspirational to me. The former, for their academic prowess combined with being fun to be around, and the latter, for their passion of their subjects. I would also like to mention my tutor, Mr Hodsdon, whose ability to rattle off cheesy jokes with such speed and ease (which I hope to one day acquire), and Mr Honnens, who inspired me with his level of commitment to making the School’s Informatics program what it is today.

What is your plan for 2019 and beyond?
I plan to study mathematics and/or computer science at a university, perhaps abroad. I am also interested in continuing to pursue playing musical instruments and participating in Informatics competitions.

Charles Ruan

What or who has been your inspiration for working hard?

My inspiration has mainly come from the academic competition between my peers. The fact that our cohort comprised of diligent and intelligent individuals further motivated me to work harder to achieve better results. 

What advice do you have for incoming Year 12 students?

It is very important that you enjoy this one and only journey as Year 12 students. Look after your mates and appreciate every memory of Christ Church.

How have you dealt with hurdles and challenges?

Hurdles and challenges are inevitable and play a very important role in our lives. It is important to reflect on the mistakes and make amends. However, try not to put too much pressure on yourself as it will only affect your confidence. Always focus on the tasks coming ahead and concentrate on finishing them well.

Who inspired you at Christ Church?

My subject teachers who have always been helpful and patient with the questions I had. 

What is your plan for 2019 and beyond?

I will most likely study a bachelor of biomedicine in Melbourne and pursue a medical career in the future.

 

Lachlan Zhou

What or who has been your inspiration for working hard?

I believe that the collective desire to succeed at Christ Church is particularly powerful. There’s a ‘culture of attainment’ so everyone pushes each other to work harder or as hard as the boy next to you. As an individual, my personal work ethic stems from a desire to fully experience the world. From my travels, wider reading etc, I’ve been able to see the depth and diversity of the ‘real world’ but to fully experience everything, I think hard work is necessary to be able to access wider experiences and successes.

What advice do you have for incoming Year 12 students?

It’s very important to approach Year 12 with a degree of humility. Success in Year 11 does not automatically transfer to the next year and hubris can really damage your results. You should also enter Year 12 with some goals. Visualise the end point and consider things like ATAR, universities, qualifications, wider activity engagements etc. I think the most important bit of advice is getting your priorities straight and this also extends onto parents/guardians who should help their boys. Year 12 is a ‘high stakes’ year and whilst its certainly important to maintain a well-rounded lifestyle, you will need to make some concessions in order to truly achieve your goals. Parties, alcohol, ‘the fear of missing out,’ these things greatly influence Year 12s; but if you want great successes then you’ll have to develop the strength of character to say “no.” I always ask myself, “Is what I am about to do going to bring me closer to achieving my goals?” and the correct path usually becomes quite evident.

How have you dealt with hurdles and challenges?

Year 12 for most will certainly be filled with many academic, emotional and social challenges. I generally deal with challenges in three different ways; accepting, reassessing or seeking help. Sometimes when unfair things happen, think about what went wrong and how you can prevent it from happening again. Some challenges require you to reassess and this means thinking deeply and being self-critical. Your goals may be unrealistic, maybe it’s time to try a new study method or perhaps, you need to change your environment. Many times, the challenge you are faced with is too big for you to singularly resolve. It’s okay to seek help.

Who inspired you at Christ Church?

My fellow Year 12 Army Cadets have been an inspiration for the past three years and particularly this year. The cadet program is something that can’t really be described but rather needs to be experienced. Together we’ve gone through so much together and all the while they’ve shown such great character and provided great company. Additionally, these boys have such vast talents with top academics, artists, athletes and leaders. It was a great pleasure and experience to work alongside these boys.

What is your plan for 2019 and beyond?

I am hoping to study a combined degree of Law and Commerce at the University of Sydney or alternatively a Bachelor of Commerce and Bachelor of Advanced Studies. I’ll be looking to work in management consultancy or the financial sector or the judiciary.

 

Riki Wylie

What or who has been your inspiration for working hard?

A primary source of inspiration for my hard work comes from my father. I think the values that were impressed upon me growing up are encapsulated best in an anecdote he once told me. He said that although he was never very talented in terms of academics, sports, or the arts, what he did have was a desire to try, and try harder than anyone else. I believe this resolute determination is something that I have come to value strongly and has helped fuel my pursuit for a career in medicine.

What advice do you have for incoming Year 12 students?

The one piece of advice I would recommend for all incoming Year 12s is to find a balance. Although unique to the individual, whatever this balance may look like, it is crucial to fit in some downtime. I know it was emphasised to my cohort in 2018 that Year 12 was a marathon and not a sprint; so, plan out your time and most of all, don’t give up on what you love doing.

How have you dealt with hurdles and challenges?

A significant challenge I have had to overcome during my time at Christ Church was my diagnosis of type 1 diabetes and its subsequent management. I am a keen sportsman, and whilst diabetes has posed its own difficulties in relation to sport, I think it has inevitably been a big part in keeping my sugar levels in check. This approach in seeking a balance to my lifestyle has been effective in managing my diabetes – achieved by investing time and energy into organising the different aspects of my life.

Who inspired you at Christ Church?

Reflecting on this question my thoughts turned to my Year 5 teacher, Mr Williamson. He was the first educator I had who treated me with a sense of autonomy and maturity, and personally, he helped instil a self-belief that I didn’t have prior. In the Senior School, I was fortunate to have Mr Lim as my Mathematics teacher for four out of the six years. Not only did I make a great a friend, but Mr Lim shared the same values of hard work and self-discipline, and served as an example for me to emulate.

What is your plan for 2019 and beyond?

Looking to the future, I hope to begin my tertiary studies and continue rugby – an end goal being able to play in the premiership grade. I also want to increase my involvement and presence in the wider community, with the wealth of new opportunities presented both exciting and daunting.

 

Jamin Hee

What or who has been your inspiration for working hard?

My grandfather was the main inspiration for my work ethic throughout my schooling career. His trials and tribulations as a Taiwanese immigrant, sacrificing his own wellbeing for the benefit of his family, motivated me to work hard in the academic realm.

What advice do you have for incoming Year 12 students?

My main piece of advice for incoming Year 12 students is to maintain a positive mindset throughout the year. Everyone has bad days at the office, but it is important to understand that there is no such thing as failure, only learning experiences. Poor results can be easily rectified by hard work and positivity.

How have you dealt with hurdles and challenges?

When I have been faced with hurdles and challenges, I always try to take a step back from the situation, to see where I have gone wrong and to look for possible solutions to these conflicts. Asking friends and family for advice during these tough times is also extremely helpful.

Who inspired you at Christ Church?

Although he graduated in 2015, my brother really inspired me at Christ Church. His impeccable work ethic and infectious positivity provided a very strong role model that I could follow throughout my schooling career.

What is your plan for 2019 and beyond?

I look forward to the new challenges of 2019 and plan to go over east to pursue my interests in finance and law.

 

Stanley McFarlane

What or who has been your inspiration for working hard?

One of my biggest inspirations for working hard was my parents. They supported me in my decisions and allowed me to explore the things that interest me. I found it was always easy to do what you enjoyed, and much easier to put in those long hours.

What advice do you have for incoming Year 12 students?

The best advice I was ever given was that it’s a marathon, not a sprint, and that you can never spend hours labouring over books week in and week out. While you may not be able to study, make sure you keep up with homework. It is also important to form study groups with a couple others with whom you can work.

How have you dealt with hurdles and challenges?

During Year 12 there are plenty of hurdles to face. It is important to be able to discuss problems with teachers, and also to be able to plan around foreseeable problems.

Who inspired you at Christ Church?

One of my biggest inspirations at Christ Church was the teachers. They continually pushed and helped me to work hard. These teachers helped in a multitude of co-curricular activities and I was inspired by how much they cared for us.

What is your plan for 2019 and beyond?

My plan for 2019 is to continue onto university, hopefully at UWA and do medicine. I want to become a doctor one day and be able to help people.

 

Riley Klug

What or who has been your inspiration for working hard?

My primary inspiration for working hard during the year was self-motivation. I aimed to work the most possible for all subjects, at all times so even if I didn’t attain my desired results, I could still claim I did all I could in going for this goal. This self-motivation stemmed from my desire to enter my preferred university course.

What advice do you have for incoming Year 12 students?

Routine is the most important thing. I found studying in the morning and afternoon and doing limited work at night helped me to recharge each day. Additionally, creating a system for the way you study is critical so maximum time can be devoted to actually learning the content and/or concepts.

How have you dealt with hurdles and challenges?

In my case, hurdles and challenges were allayed by a focus on friendships and non-scholastic passions. This included laughing during Politics with Max Ong and Mathematics with Tom Moran, talking dream team footy with Harry Playford and Jack Maurice, as well as jamming and talking about Music with Harry Brunner. This helped me realise that there is more to life than school work and thus, allowed me to move on from any challenges.

Who inspired you at Christ Church?

My inspiration at Christ Church came from my peers – primarily those in my classes with whom I had friendly competition. This included Max Ong in Politics and Law and Toby Johnson in Modern History. My interactions with my peers in my classes helped me achieve my goals and I hope I did the same for them. The comradery in my classes also helped create relaxed yet goal-orientated classes that in turn also inspired me.

What is your plan for 2019 and beyond?

I plan to study either a Bachelor of Philosophy at UWA in philosophy and economics or study law at the Australian National University. I also wish to travel and get involved in philanthropic activities.