Year 12 graduate reflection


Clairvaux MacKillop College students enjoy a range of opportunities in their senior years.​

THERE'S no doubt the Year 12 graduates of 2021 have had a unique senior experience, having a pandemic continue through their entire 2 years.  

But that has not stopped our BCE students from achieving all kinds of success as we’ve witnessed over the past couple of months.  

From those who recently received an Australian Tertiary Admission Rank (ATAR) and/or a Queensland Certificate of Education (QCE), to the range of Vocational Education and Training (VET) certificates and apprenticeships available.  

As one BCE Principal, Christine Clark from Clairvaux MacKillop College, said “there are many avenues and opportunities available to students even prior to graduating”.  

“We’ve had successes right across the board - apprenticeships, traineeships and university subjects completed at school; successful auditions for tertiary performing arts courses; students who are the first in their families to gain university entry; students in full time continuing work; and students whose stories will never be known publicly but who have succeeded against extraordinary odds,“ Christine said.  

“Every student is unique, and no matter the path they feel is right for them, we want to ensure we provide the support and opportunities to allow them to follow that journey.” 

“Our dedicated teachers create the nurturing environment that brings out the best in our Clairvaux MacKillop College people.” 

“I’m so proud of all our students, no matter the pathway they have decided to take.” 

One example success story is Year 12 graduate from the College Edward Goss who not only received his target ATAR result but was also offered a Ramsay Undergraduate Scholarship at the University of Queensland. 
Edward’s reflection of his studies and advice for future senior students…  

My decision to embark on a generalist (ATAR) pathway was shaped by ability 
​Year 12 graduate Edward Goss is a UQ Ramsay Undergraduate Scholarship recipient
and aspiration. First, since year 8 I had observed high performance in those scientific, mathematical, and humanistic subjects which would instil the university-propelling academic vertebrae required for competency in the senior general subjects.  

My teachers at Clairvaux MacKillop College – beginning with my English teacher, Ms Brilliant, in year 8 and persisting through to my extended year 12 support network – were concurrently imperative in fostering my academic courage through their personal patronage.  

My achievement is largely a by-product of the critical confidences of other people in my burgeoning abilities. Developing the want to acquire university education was a process which was spurred by these confidences as well as a manner for identifying the steps one must take to achieve their ideal career, I dubbed The Wikipedia Method in year 10.

This process involves identifying patterns in the education and occupations of one’s idols in recent history. From year 10 my idols were all successful politicians, and among them a rarely broken chain of prestigious university education emerged which further drove my tertiary ambitions and narrowed them toward law and the humanities.  

To practice this approach, on the advice of a faculty member I enrolled in Mathematical Methods, Literature, Study of Religion, Modern History, Philosophy and Reasoning, and Economics – the latter five of which I was awarded First in Class for in year 12.  
I tailored this range of study to what was at the time my ambition, to study a Bachelor of Politics, Philosophy and Economics at the University of Queensland, a degree imported from Oxford and wielded by many of its Balliol statesmen.  

These subjects proved highly enjoyable and engaging and solidified alongside my tenure as Student Council Head the view that I would aspire to succeed in an area founded on the social sciences.  

Moreover, it was these subjects therethrough I would achieve the results necessitous to court an offer from the University of Queensland, although at this stage it was an admission corresponding to my conditional receipt of the university’s Ramsay Undergraduate Scholarship for Law and Humanities with an extended major in Western Civilisation.  

I received a 98.1, securing my position both as Ramsay Scholar and one of the highest achieving ATAR students in the College.  
I was ecstatic during the serene moment wherein years of stress washed from my body. My family, louder in expressing their joy than I was, found it quite an emotional moment. My future hope is that The Wikipedia Method works.  

I want to enjoy a highly involved and successful five and a half years of study and networking in university, followed by – excluding an international graduate scholarship – a placement in the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade’s Graduate Entry Program or the qualifications necessary to be admitted to the bar.  

After extra-occupational wadings through party caucuses I hope then that my experience can be applied in the reinvigoration of Australia through the political watersheds of the middle of the twenty-first century, and for me to become the subject of a young aspirant’s Wikipedia Method myself.  

My advice for younger students is both concrete and general. For one, I recommend you get enough sleep. It has been the trend for some decades for teenagers to abandon the effective recovery of their energy, and I believe this impacts them negatively.  

Furthermore, it is imperative that you never allow other people to be responsible for any of your shortcomings. A clique of swots can make or break your learning environment, and as such I am ceaselessly grateful for my gifted and studious friends.  

I am also in summary thankful for all my teachers for their unendingly tolerant support, especially my kind and grounding anchor of support throughout high school, Mr Tathem, and Mr de Luca and Mrs Milanovic, without whose help I could not have won conditional acceptance of the Ramsay Scholarship.  
I would also like to thank my neighbours, Mr and Mrs Mark and Madeleine Sayer, who were similarly indispensable in my extracurricular quests, and for my parents and sister for their unfaltering stability, guidance, and love of 17 years. ​

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