USC Class of 2016 – Student Highlights


In January this year we learnt that members of the graduating class of 2015 had distinguished themselves with outstanding results in the Stage 2 SACE examinations. Full details were posted on our website at the time.  Ninety percent of USC students (Class of 2015) received their first preference offer to university. A total of 95 (61%) students were offered places to the University of Adelaide, 32 (21%) to the University of SA and 24 (15%) to Flinders University. These enrolment numbers confirmed our position as the most significant single feeder school to the university sector in SA.


University Senior College class of 2016

University Senior College – Class of 2016

The Class of 2016 Achievements

This year Zane Bennett is the recipient of the Dr P D Goldsworthy Prize for Creative Writing. His memoir style narrative was written as part of the required course work for English Studies students. Zane’s work is notable for its sophisticated humour and excellent narrative voice.

Helin Kocadag was awarded the Wilberforce Prize in Legal Studies for her essay on the longevity of the Australian Constitution and how it strengthens our democracy.  William Wilberforce, an English parliamentarian, was the leader of the movement to abolish the slave trade in the late 1700s. He was instrumental in the presentation of the first ever petition to the House of Commons and has been described as one of the fathers of modern democracy as enjoyed in Australia today.

In the study of modern languages Lilly Deluca (Stage 2 Italian Continuers) received an Award of Excellence and Gillian Hagenus (Stage 2 French Continuers) received an Award of Merit from the SA School of Languages.

During July, 18 of our students participated in the Australian Mathematics Competition. This is a truly international competition and 400,000+ students throughout Australia and South East Asia took part on the day. In Year 12 Yingshi (Dori) Qu secured a High Distinction while Zefeng (Jeff) Huang, Tri Nguyen and Yanwen (Esther) Mao secured Distinctions. In Year 11 George Ding was awarded a Distinction while Tam Nguyen, Han (Billy) Xu, Aatmaj Dasondi, Yifan (Yvonne) Gao and Katie Kim were awarded Distinctions. An additional 6 students secured a Credit. All students who took part in this demanding competition are to be congratulated.

A total of 28 students participated in the Society of Petroleum Engineers SA Schools Mathematics Competition during March. This is a very demanding competition and we were delighted to learn that two of our students were Prize Winners: Yingshi (Dori) Qu (equal fourth) and Zefeng (Jeff) Huang (equal sixth). Nietzsche Sparrow also performed strongly and secured a Credit in the competition.

In the 2016 Australian Geography Competition we were delighted to learn that Patrick Graham, Claire Faulkner and Mirella Di Cesare secured High Distinctions while Zane Bennett, Eilish Devlin, Isla Heath, Boyang (Gwen) Liu, Kathryn Lind and Leighton Elliott secured Distinctions in this national competition.

Holly Stapledon was the recipient of the Australian Defence Force Leadership and Teamwork ‘Long Tan’ Award for 2016. Nomination for this award was as a result of the supportive manner in which Holly has conducted herself on campus throughout her two years, adding much to the positive tone of the whole school community through her confident demeanour, enthusiasm, and selfless support of others.

Holly Stapledon has also been awarded the National Scholars Leadership Scholarship at the Australian National University in Canberra (ANU) as part of her application process for the 2017 Tuckwell Scholarship. There were over 700 applications for the Tuckwell Scholarship and 230 were invited to progress to Stage 2. Holly was amongst the 69 students invited to progress through to the Stage 3 interviews held in Canberra during July.

Emma Troughton was successful in winning a scholarship to attend the Global Youth Leaders’ Conference in Europe, which during the July break, took her to the cities of Vienna, Prague, Berlin and Munich. Emma also represented SA in the Australasian Auctioneering Schools Competition in Alice Springs during September in which she came a highly commendable second.

In May, Lilly Deluca, Katie Kim, Helen Park, Sheryl Mourin, Azriel Poskey-Miles and Yingshi (Dori) Qu were selected to attend a full day ‘2016 Women in Mathematics Workshop’ organised by the University of Adelaide School of Mathematical Sciences. All six students had the opportunity to interact with a variety of women pursuing careers in mathematics and were inspired by the speakers and the diversity of opportunities in this area of study.

Also in May, three of our Year 11 students, Charlie Hoffman, George Ding and Billy Han, participated in ‘aMATHing Day’ at the University of Adelaide organised by the Faculty of Engineering, Computing and Mathematical Sciences.  The day provided students with an opportunity to investigate a variety of career options specifically in the field of Mathematics.

USC entered a number of teams in the National Titration Competition arranged by the Royal Australian Chemical Institute this year. The first round was conducted during the May Open Day and four teams were successful in reaching the national final. A total of two gold medals and two silver medals were secured in this challenging competition. Our two gold medal winning teams comprised Azriel Poskey-Miles, Rosie Linehan and Claire Faulkner, and Nietzsche Sparrow, Yingshi (Dori) Qu and Jay Sie Wong.

The International Cultural Engagement (ICE) Program has gone from strength to strength during 2016. The ICE program has a focus on peer mentors and is designed to help our new arrivals adjust to a change in routine and culture. The program aims to support international students enrolled in our Intensive English course to familiarise themselves with their new environs and adjust to the dramatic change in classroom practice and expectations. Local students who volunteer to become ICE Breakers undertake a formal training program which allows them to understand better the needs of new arrivals and how best to break down barriers, engage and communicate. Amongst the graduating class of 2016, a total of 20 Year 12 students were ICE Breakers and engaged in regular meetings and activities with our new arrivals. This is a highly valued program that has allowed many young people from different cultures to form strong friendships through greater understanding of one another and a shared experience.

The annual USC Art and Design Exhibition was held in November in the Charles Street Art Studio. The exhibition was officially opened by Ryan Sims (Education Support Officer at the Art Gallery of SA). The exhibition showcased a wide variety of creative works from our students. Helen Park was announced as the recipient of the Barr Smith Library Art Prize and Maddie Lindsay was awarded the Barr Smith Library Design Prize.

The Year 12 Drama students presented a thought-provoking production about the consequences of addiction to technology. The ensemble gave a strong performance of ‘Ten Red Kings’ by Mark Rigney in the Little Theatre at the end of second term. There were some outstanding individual performances, but the most impressive aspect of the production was the manner in which the cast and crew came together as a team. The support and direction given by Lynn Jackson was exceptional and she guided everyone involved to the highest level. We are indebted to Sarah Randall, Matthew Adams, Theodora Garner-Coghlan and Heather Wiseman for their technical assistance.

Year 11 Drama students delighted audiences in the Little Theatre during October with a well-rehearsed and poignant interpretation of David Magarrity’s play, ‘Duty Free’. We were particularly grateful to Lynn Jackson for the support and direction given in bringing the cast and crew together to deliver such an entertaining production.

USC Music students have had a busy year, regularly providing music before Sunday morning services at Scots Church, North Terrace. The students presented an inspiring Sunday Concert for parents and friends in Scots Church during August. Geoff Rogers and David Garwood supported the students in the organisation and delivery of a thoroughly enjoyable and entertaining afternoon of musical items.

  • Jerome Javier has been very active in musical theatre gaining several leads and chorus roles in shows with the Adelaide Youth Theatre and Marie Clark Musical Theatre. Most recently he was chosen for the lead role of ‘Evan’ in the musical ‘13’ to be staged by the Adelaide Youth Theatre during the 2017 Fringe Festival.
  • Harpist Philippa McAuliffe and cellist Sarah Dodd have been members of the Adelaide Youth Orchestra and have enjoyed a number of master classes with visiting soloists and conductors during the year.
  • Ben Bai (OS ’11) won second prize in the highly competitive Recitals Australia series and continues to support the USC music program.

Congratulations to Charlotte Hillam and Brayden Roberts for being selected to attend the National Schools Constitutional Convention in Canberra in March 2017. Their selection reflects the excellence of their essays on the likelihood of a future Republic in Australia.

Gillian Hagenus and Mateusz Nowak are the first University Senior College students to graduate from the volunteer program run by the Children’s University Australia. Both Gillian and Mateusz completed over 30 hours of support and each received a ‘Children’s University Volunteer Award’. Children’s University Australia is an international partner of Children’s University Trust (UK) and managed by the University of Adelaide, South Australia. The 2016 Graduation Ceremony was held in September at Bonython Hall, with awards presented by Professor Warren Bebbington, Vice-Chancellor and President, and Professor Philippa Levy, Pro Vice-Chancellor – Student Learning.

Congratulations to Scarlett Archer, Gillian Hagenus, Isla Heath, Kathryn Lynd, Sheryl Mourin, Revania Pillay, Yingshi (Dori) Qu, Masha Sudareva and Mathew Wallace who braved the elements and participated in the Sunday Mail City-Bay Fun Run in September for the University Senior College team. This year was the 44th year of this iconic South Australian Community Event and the 4th year that University Senior College has entered a school team.  This year competitors wore USC singlets designed and made especially for this event.

The Annual College Formal was held at the Adelaide Hilton Hotel, Victoria Square in April. Once again all those in attendance had a wonderful evening organised by Lisa Temple, Mishka Ammann and an enthusiastic student committee.

Every year the UN Youth National Conference brings together over 100 exceptional young people from across Australia and the Asia-Pacific to discuss a diverse range of international and local issues.  The National Conference is held each year during July in a different Australian capital city. Brisbane was the venue for 2016 and Holly Stapledon (Year 12) and Anushri Goswami (Year 11) attended this invite only event to learn from experts in international relations, participate in interactive workshops and formally debate questions of global importance. The Conference aims to create a generation of young Australians who are informed and passionate about the world around them through education and engagement with national leaders and through peer mentoring. The University Senior College Old Scholars’ Association (USCOSA) provided some financial assistance for both Holly and Anushri to attend the conference. We congratulate Holly Stapledon who was awarded the ‘UN Youth National Conference Best Delegate 2016’.

A number of community minded students held a cake sale in Hub Central to support research into Multiple Sclerosis. A total of $600 was raised on the day and directed to MS Research Australia.

USC continues to support the ‘Sight For All Foundation’ as a corporate donor. The work done by Drs James Mueke, Henry Newland and Bob Casson in working with colleagues in Asia to provide subspecialty education and to equip eye clinics, has improved the sight of tens of thousands. We applaud their work and are committed to supporting the foundation into the future.

A total of 25 students donated blood to the Red Cross Blood Service during the year.

Students arranged a lunchtime concert to celebrate the International Day of Happiness in March.

During November Vice Consul Todd McGee, from the United States Consulate in Melbourne, visited USC and addressed our Politics students. He was very generous with his time and gave students many insights into the American political system during the height of the Trump/Clinton Presidential contest. State politician, Mark Parnell also took time out of his busy schedule to speak with our Politics students about the impact of minor parties in government and shared some insights into the study of Politics at the tertiary level.

In February this year, 25 USC students participated the Adelaide Fringe Parade, which was host to over 65,000 people who had lined up North Terrace to watch the parade.


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