Published on: 21 June 2013

Year 12 students Alexander Chua and Simon Swan will represent Australia in the 2013 International Mathematics and Science Olympiads next month. Their selection was announced at a ceremony held at Australian Parliament House in Canberra last weekend.

Simon will represent Australia at the International Physics Olympiad (IPO) in Denmark from 7 to 15 July while Alex will compete in the International Mathematics Olympiad (IMO) in Columbia from 18 to 28 July.

Minister for School Education Peter Garrett, who presented the teams with their official Olympiad blazers, said the students had won the right to represent Australia on the international stage. “Their dedication to study could see these young Australians working on the front lines of cancer research, creating climate change solutions, or writing algorithms that drive satellites,” Mr Garrett said. “The possibilities are endless for students of this exceptional talent and passion.”

Head of Mathematics Jan Honnens said Alex had been amongst the top 15 performing students in Australia over the past three years. “It has been a long, successful journey for Alex and it is wonderful to see him safely on the team,” Mr Honnens said. “Alex has had many top and perfect scores and this is just rewards for his outstanding efforts.”

Head of Science Michael Masterton said Simon qualified for the Olympiad Summer School at Monash University in Physics as well as Biology and Chemistry – a first for any Christ Church student. “We must also acknowledge the assistance Dr Holly Rose (Head of Physics) gave to Simon to help him prepare for the final selection exams,” Mr Masterton said.

Alex is the second Christ Church student to make the Australian IMO Team since Andrew Hassell (Class of 1985) in 1985 in Helsinki. Andrew was the first Australian to win a gold medal at the IMO. In Science, Jason Kong (Class of 2009) and Robert Holt (Class of 2009) were the most recent Christ Church representatives to take part in the International Chemistry Olympiad, held in the UK, and the IPO, in Mexico, respectively.

Photographs courtesy of Paul Swan.