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Good afternoon members of the Christ Church community

In 2015 Christ Church Grammar School had 175 ATAR students and 11 general pathway students.

– 18 of our boys (10 per cent of ATAR candidates) achieved an ATAR of 99 or higher
– 26 of our boys (15 per cent of ATAR candidates) achieved an ATAR of 98 or higher
– 53 of our boys (30 per cent of ATAR candidates) achieved an ATAR of 95 or higher
– 85 of our boys (49 per cent of ATAR candidates) achieved an ATAR of 90 or higher
– Average ATAR for the year group: 85.70
– Median ATAR for the year group: 89.55 (State median 79.10)
– 127 of our boys (73 per cent of ATAR candidates) obtained an ATAR of 80 or higher, the minimum required for UWA
– 3 of our boys received general exhibitions, awarded to only 40 students in Western Australia

Principal Alan Jones said the school and community congratulate all boys in the class of 2015 on their performance. “As a high-performing academic yet inclusive school we accept boys of all abilities. It is wonderful to see our graduating class succeed academically and to see boys individually and collectively striving towards their unlimited potential. As a school that delivers ’boys’ schooling’ well, I would like to acknowledge our teaching and support staff for their hard work and commitment in achieving the best outcomes for our boys.”

Congratulations to Dux of School Jack Hawkesford who also achieved a general exhibition. Julian Ming and Daniel Pelkowitz were also awarded general exhibitions. Two boys, Stefano Tudor and Samuel Thompson also excelled.

Jason Chu achieved a course exhibition for the highest mark in the state for Computer Science.

Certificates of distinction were awarded to the following boys who were placed in the top 0.5% of the state within a given course: Angus Barber (Biological Sciences), Jack Hawkesford (Chemistry, Economics), Daniel Pelkowitz (Chemistry, Economics), Samuel Thompson (Chemistry), Jason Chu (Computer Science), Hector Morlet (Computer Science), Gareth Shanthikumar (Drama), Michael Lukin (Literature), Joseph Brough (Mathematics), Alexander Sherrington (Philosophy and Ethics) Jack Leaversuch (Physical Education Studies), Julian Ming (Physics) and Terry Pham (Physics).

Certificates of commendation were awarded to the following boys in recognition of achieving 10 or more A grades in Years 11 and 12: Angus Barber, Joseph Brough, Jack Hawkesford, Jared Hee, Hunter Jackson, Chaithanya Jeganathan, Christian Keller, Julian Ming, Nicholas O’Callaghan, Daniel Pelkowitz, Albert Qiu, Ganathipan Shanmugakumar, Samuel Thompson and Stefano Tudor.

The ‘99 Club’ congratulates and welcomes into the fold the following: Angus Barber, Joseph Brough, Jack Hawkesford, Jared Hee, Timothy Holden, Hunter Jackson, Chaithanya Jeganathan, Michael Lukin, Julian Ming, Nicholas O’Callaghan, Daniel Pelkowitz, Terry Pham, Albert Qiu, Maclain Robinson, Ganathipan Shanmugakumar, Alexander Sherrington, Samuel Thompson and Stefano Tudor.

General pathway students have achieved a variety of qualifications, including our first graduates in the Certificate IV in Fitness completed at Christ Church. All general pathway students will move on to further study, employment and/or apprenticeships and we celebrate their success.

Alan Jones


High Achievers – Class of 2015

Hawkesford, Jack

Jack Hawkesford

How have you dealt with hurdles and challenges in order to move forward? When faced with difficulties throughout my time at the school, I would often try to seek guidance and advice from various people within the school community like fellow peers, teachers and older students. The strong pastoral care network helped put my problems into perspective and offered appropriate solutions based on past experience. Also speaking about difficulties with people outside the school such as my parents also helped me to overcome challenges and move forward.

What has inspired you to work hard? As I progressed through the senior school, I often looked up to older boys who had worked hard and become extremely successful. I often imagined myself in their shoes, and subsequently became inspired to work hard and show a strong sense of commitment so that one day, I could achieve similar success.

Who has inspired you at CCGS? There have been many peers, teachers and sports coaches who have inspired me during my time at Christ Church to work hard and reach my full potential. In particular, my Head of House Mr Thorne, played a significant role in inspiring me in the academic and sporting arenas, as well as the leadership of the school. During house meetings and in conversations about all facets of the school life, Mr Thorne kept it simple by saying, “If you can look yourself in the mirror at the end of the day and say that you’ve given it your best shot, that’s all anyone can ask”.

What advice do you have for incoming year 12 boys? I think the key to success in year 12 ultimately comes down to hard work and organisation. Begin the year with a specific plan of how you are going to study and perform in each of your subjects, have the self-discipline to stay focused and avoid procrastination, and most importantly the self-determination to give your best efforts in all aspects of school life. Often the first six weeks of year 12 set the pace for the rest of the year. Make sure you work hard during this period and maintain it throughout the year. Year 12 is like a marathon; it requires consistent effort and focus and a continual commitment never to give up.

What is your plan for 2016 and beyond? At the moment, I am not 100 per cent sure where I will be next year, but I am definitely planning to begin a science undergraduate at university while trying to work part-time. Beyond 2016, I plan to continue my studies at university in the health science area to eventually look at becoming a dentist or a doctor in the future.

Samuel Thompson

Samuel Thompson

How have you dealt with hurdles and challenges in order to move forward? I remind myself that hurdles and challenges are temporary, and I use them as an opportunity to improve on how I do things, so I don’t have to face the same difficulties again. In the case of academic challenges, I have asked for help from my teachers, who have always been extremely willing to give their time.

What has inspired you to work hard? I have been inspired by the idea that if I work as hard as I can, I will have a much broader range of choices for what I can do after school, and will be able to feel more content with myself. I have also been inspired by the consistent encouragement from my teachers to work hard.

Who has inspired you at CCGS? The people at CCGS who have inspired me are previous students who have worked incredibly hard to achieve outstanding results. This includes the many students who have achieved a 99.95 ATAR and Simon Swan, who was selected to represent Australia in the International Physics Olympiad.

What advice do you have for incoming year 12 boys? Make sure you work on your assessment and exam technique by doing practice exams, as this is a better way of learning skills than just trying to memorise notes or pages from a textbook. Try to keep distractions away, such as social media or games, as these take up a lot more time than you realise. Finally, be prepared to sacrifice some of the things you would normally do, especially as you get towards the end of the year.

What is your plan for 2016 and beyond? In 2016, I plan to study science or engineering either at UWA or an interstate university. Beyond that, I haven’t made my mind up because there are a lot of different career paths a science degree can lead to, some of which I may not know about yet. 

Daniel Pelkowitz

Daniel Pelkowitz

How have you dealt with hurdles and challenges in order to move forward? Staying motivated throughout the whole year. WACE is a 10-month ordeal and sometimes it was hard to keep the end in sight when it felt so far away. With the help of friends, family and teachers I was able to work through this. Using this support network is something that I did and I would recommend for others. It is so much easier to tackle a problem or challenge with the help of others. Plus you learn a lot about different approaches in overcoming hurdles.

What has inspired you to work hard? My aspirations of becoming a doctor. I wanted to put myself in as good a position to get an assured place in medicine, so I kept this as my motivation to keep pushing through the long hours of study.

Who has inspired you at CCGS? My house tutor Mr Parker had a huge influence on me from the day I arrived in year 10. He encouraged me to push myself and see what I could achieve. He inspired me to get involved in many activities to get as much as I could out of CCGS. Also, our Captain of School Jack Hawkesford is someone I looked up to because of his humility. As dux and captain he excelled in so many areas yet never once let it get to his head. These are qualities I admire.

What advice do you have for incoming year 12 boys? Start the year with strength. Knuckle down for the first four weeks, read ahead and keep on top of your study from the beginning. It may be tempting to ease into the long year ahead but I would avoid this mentality. It is so much easier to stay ahead than it is to catch up after a lazy start. This will also help you when it comes to exams, as you can spend more time revising and less time learning new concepts.

What is your plan for 2016 and beyond? In 2016 I plan to travel to Broome to contribute my time and service in the community. This will involve working with youth to increase their capacity to serve their neighbourhood, and foster the sense of community. I look forward to this, as it should be a very different experience to life in Perth. After Broome, I hope to be going to either Melbourne University or the University of Western Australia to complete a science undergrad that will lead into medicine.

Joseph Brough

Joseph Brough

What did you like about CCGS? There is a great sense of community at CCGS and during my time there I developed wonderful, supportive friends. The CCGS teachers exemplified this sense of community, and were always trusted allies, willing to help when I was in need. Their guidance and assistance allowed me to develop the knowledge I needed to help others; something I found was excellent in consolidating my understanding with the added bonus of helping others.

What helped you during times of stress? Through the sports program, I learned the importance of persistence. Not a natural sportsman, I opted for cross country every year, which was always a personal challenge. I continued my running during study leave as I ran along Cottesloe beach as a form of stress relief. I also read HG Wells’ War of the Worlds to break up my study timetable, and for ‘light relief’ I watched Adventure Time and listened to Welcome to Nightvale podcasts.

Who has inspired you at CCGS? My year 4 teacher Mr Griffin was a great inspiration to me, offering me encouragement to recognise my potential. I also had a fabulous mathematics teacher and loved being a member of Hill House.

Terry Pham

Terry Pham

How have you dealt with hurdles and challenges in order to move forward? I liked to picture my school life in one year’s time: my friends, which subjects I may or may not be studying, and other aspects of school life that could be different. I would try to construct a positive image of what could possibly change in that time. It would give me something to work towards, which helped me face the challenges that came my way. 

What has inspired you to work hard? My main inspiration was how I can contribute to society after school – What will I be able to do? What can I accomplish? To me, working hard was a way of both testing what I could do with learning, and striving towards my future outside school.

Who has inspired you at CCGS? In particular, I remember having several inspiring PSD (Personal and Spiritual Development) classes in various years with Canon Frank Sheehan and Father Richard Pengelley. Both men discussed philosophical and ethical topics and issues, displaying very high levels of moral standards and communication skills. Their ability to explore these deep topics with teenage boys in such a manner left a long-lasting impression on me. 

What advice do you have for incoming year 12 boys? Enjoy yourself! The stress and pressure to study for exams and work towards your goals after school comes naturally in a dedicated and competitive environment, as long as you keep your aspirations in mind. Figure out your goals for the year early, such as your attitude towards your exams or the requirements for anything you want to do after year 12. From there, it is good to have some fun during the year. Remember you are in year 12, the most senior group of students in the school, and with the most privileges. After all, it’s your final year in high school.

What is your plan for 2016 and beyond? I would like to be accepted into a medicine course at a university in Australia, as I am aspiring to be a doctor. My plans are therefore a little unclear at the moment, as it depends on if and where I can get an offer into medicine.

Stefano Tudor

Stefano Tudor

How have you dealt with hurdles and challenges in order to move forward?
I have had to deal with numerous hurdles and challenges throughout my schooling experience. I have always tried to remain positive when faced with difficult situations and if I cannot change something I try to change the way I think about it. I have always consulted my trusted friends and family members when presented with a challenge, and I try to pool different viewpoints in order to make an informed decision on how to handle a problem. Above all, I have worked extremely hard in the face of hurdles and challenges. My number one solution to any problem is to work hard where possible, and it is a solution that I can trust to help me achieve success.

What has inspired you to work hard?
I have always been intrinsically motivated. I work hard because I aspire to be the best I can be, and thus always put in my best effort in any field. We only have one chance in this life, so my personal philosophy has always been to try to make my mark in the activities in which I am involved. In a school setting I have always wanted to do well, and am inspired to work hard, because I want to make my parents, teachers and friends proud. I know that if I put in my best effort, then I will not have let anyone down.

Who has inspired you at CCGS?
The teachers at Christ Church have always been inspirational. Their commitment to the personal and academic improvement of each and every one of their students is inspirational, and almost every teacher, in my eyes, is inspirational in their own particular way. One teacher in particular who I found inspirational was my French teacher Ms Rosinel. She was always there for every student and genuinely cared about our class’ results but at the same time never took anything too seriously, reminding us to keep year 12 in perspective. Many of my friends were also inspirational, keeping things fun even when the going was tough and at the same time encouraging an atmosphere of academic and personal excellence.

What advice do you have for incoming year 12 boys?
To the incoming year 12 boys, my number one piece of advice would be to work hard, but not too hard. People always say to work hard, and this advice is commonly dismissed, but the correlation between deliberate, measured, hard work and good results is exceptionally direct. Keep up to date with your work and assignments, but do not spend the whole weekend inside the house studying, either. I was probably guilty of this a fair bit this year, but it does not pay off to over study. Once you know you are ready for a test, do not take things over the top and work too hard. Keep your friends around you and remember to have fun once in a while. As is so often the case with most things in life it is all about balance.

What is your plan for 2016 and beyond?
In 2016 and beyond I have chosen to do the Bachelor of Philosophy program and then postgraduate medicine at UWA. Medicine to me seems like an ideal profession because one has the opportunity to make a genuine contribution to society, work with others, and problem solve at the same time. I would also like to travel and explore different countries and cultures through medicine, perhaps by volunteering through various charitable organisations.