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Media release
Thursday, 10 Mar 2016

HSC success trumps adversity

Two exceptional young women have been recognised for overcoming significant adversity to achieve outstanding results in the 2015 HSC.

BOSTES President Tom Alegounarias congratulated Grace Chen and Alexandra Elgue on being awarded the 2015 Brother John Taylor Memorial Prize.

“Ms Chen and Ms Elgue are remarkable young women who showed enormous determination, courage and resilience to achieve exceptional HSC results in the face of considerable personal challenges.

“The recipients’ stories reveal an extraordinary commitment to achieving high academic goals in the HSC,” Mr Alegounarias said.

In 2014, while in Year 11 at Pymble Ladies College, Ms Chen became the primary carer for her mother who had been diagnosed with stomach cancer in 2011.With her father working in China to support the family, Ms Chen persevered with her HSC study in between providing her mother with palliative care, shopping, cooking, cleaning and attending her mum’s medical appointments as a translator. On results day, Ms Chen’s courage and effort were rewarded with marks in the highest band possible for four subjects. This year, Ms Chen is studying for a Bachelor of Commerce at the University of Melbourne.

In 2015 Ms Elgue, then a HSC student at Ascham, experienced severe medical difficulties. In spite of this, Ms Elgue maintained exemplary academic standards during her HSC year. Ms Elgue’s results speak for themselves – the Premier’s All Round Achievers Award for top band results in 10 or more HSC units, and Dux of Ascham. This year, Ms Elgue is at the Australian National University studying politics, philosophy and economics..

Selected from 25 nominees, Ms Chen and Ms Elgue each received a trophy, $1000 and a voucher for the Co-op Bookshop.

First presented in 1993, the Brother John Taylor Memorial Prize is presented each year to a student or students who have overcome significant hardship to attain academic excellence in their HSC. The prize is named in honour of former Board member, Brother John Taylor who dedicated his life to equity and excellence in education.

Nominations for the 2016 Brother John Memorial Prize close on Tuesday, 20 December 2016.

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