Congratulations Year 12s

Congratulations Year 12s Main Image

By Kristy McBain

18 October 2021

I rise to celebrate and acknowledge the incredible work and achievements of the year 12 students in my electorate. Students in regional areas often do not have the same opportunities as their city counterparts, but these students have gone above and beyond to help others to share their passions, and now they are being recognised for their efforts. I'd like to make a few shout-outs to our future leaders.

First up is Bega High School's Max Navarrete. I've had the pleasure of meeting Max on a number of occasions, and I can honestly say he's a very deserving recipient of the New South Wales Minister's Award for Excellence in Student Achievement. Max received this award for his demonstrated and strong commitment to his education. His citation noted that he is a well-rounded young man, demonstrating skills performing musically with his band and playing a range of sports at a high level, with high academic achievement in physics, advanced English, maths, PDHPE and music. More importantly, Max is a mentor and role model for younger students as well as a local life saver and learn-to-swim coach.

Another student who has recently been recognised for being a role model for local youth is Snowy Mountains Grammar School student Zac Corcoran. Just last month, the Governor of New South Wales presented Zac with a Youth Community Service Award through the Order of Australia Association, New South Wales, for 'exceptional service or engagement with their local community'. Zac recently represented Jindabyne at the Lions Youth of the Year and progressed all the way to the New South Wales state final. He is the coordinator of the Jindabyne Navy Cadets, volunteers with an aged care facility, tutors younger students in English and music and has organised fundraising in a charity event to support local farmers and families. It's pretty easy to see why he received this award.

My last shout-out goes to two Lumen Christi Catholic College students, Jade Short and Maxwell Arch, who were recently announced as winners in the 2021 Australian STEM Video Game Challenge. There were 2,800 entries into this competition, with six winners across different categories. Jade and Max were the only winners who were from a regional area. Jade and Max have spent around four months working on their award-winning entry, Murus. They have been making games together now for four years, each year learning and improving and building their game development skills. In fact, these two year 12 students already have their own business, where they connect, inspire and teach game development to people in the local area as well as through their online tutorial videos.

Congratulations to these four inspiring students. This acknowledgement and these awards are well deserved. But I also want to congratulate every student who is finalising school this year and preparing for their upcoming HSC exams. This year's cohort of year 12 students have had to overcome so much uncertainty to get to this point. They've adapted to learning from home and have gone weeks and months without seeing and connecting with their friends face to face, and many have missed out on celebrating important milestones. To all our year 12s out there: congratulations for getting through. You should be so proud of yourself. And I don't want to jinx myself but it's only up from here.