Downlands Academic Awards

November 19, 2018

Discovering your path, changing your perspective, finding some good in every person and every challenging event, common sense and the concept of a fair go were points touched on by Mr Stephen McIllhatton, Downlands College Principal, in his address to the College at the Year 12 Awards last Friday.

“Life will throw some deep setbacks at you. Try to see the positive elements in them. It may be hard to find, but they will be there - not obvious at first perhaps, but on reflection, later, when the emotion has gone out of it. These critical moments in your life are great learning or turning points in your journey. Embrace them, push on and you will continue to fulfil your destiny, the plan mapped out for you,” Mr McIllhatton said.

Described by one of her teachers as a ‘once in a generation student’, Zoë Hulme-Peake, was the recipient of the Father George Butler MSC Prize for Dux of the College.

Zoë finished Year 12 with the impressive result of a Very High Achievement (VHA) in eight OP subjects, demonstrating considerable academic ability across many disciplines including English, Religion, Mathematics, The Arts and Science. The completion of eight OP subjects is a laudable achievement, over and above the expectations for senior secondary school study and workload. It is worth noting that five of Zoë’s VHA results are VHA10s, the highest possible result in a Queensland OP subject.

In her time at Downlands Zoë balanced her academic pursuits with a vast array of co-curricular involvement and a passionate commitment to The Arts. Zoë is a playwright, an actor, a musician and an orator. She was successful in her applications for both the National and International Youth Science Forums. Over and over again, we have witnessed a young scholar who delights in, and makes meaning out of, the intriguing interplay of Science and The Arts. Zoë received many awards at the ceremony, including the John Tyson Doneley Award for Outstanding Merit in all areas of College Life, and individual subject awards for Drama, English, French, Music, Music Extension, Physics and Study of Religion.

Georgia Lee, a second generation Downlander, was the recipient of the Humanitas Award, considered the highest accolade in the College, in terms of ‘goodness’ and the qualities of humility and compassion that reflect the MSC Ethos and represent a true Downlander. Georgia inspired all with her sincerity, authenticity and enabling spirit, her capacity for reflection, and her encouragement of people to embrace each day as a gift to enjoy to the full.

Reflecting on his Downlands experience, College Captain, Dominic Brennan said, “I have seen this school grow and thrive, all the while, maintaining the key focus on ensuring everyone here can find a passion, creating a community of heart-centred people,“ while co-Captain Eloise Tighe, encouraged her cohort to cherish every second: “Downlands has played an immeasurable role in shaping the people we are today. Our paths will differ significantly, but today we are the same, each of us sporting the red and blue one last time, each of us filled with hope. Ahead of us stands everything we are yet to know, experience, and become. Let us go through it boldly and without regret. No room for cowards.”

On behalf of the College, Mr McIllhatton encouraged the graduates, “As you go into the future, remember your Downlands education and enjoy lives brimming with common sense, be reflective as you discover your path and serve others without a second thought. We grow when we serve, when we make others’ lives better and in doing so, we make our own lives better. Measure your success by the success you can bring to others around you.”

Congratulations to all 2018 Academic and College Award Recipients. A complete list of these students can be accessed via the links below:

Year 12 Awards
Years 5 - 11 Awards

PHOTO Front (l-r): Downlands College Dux, Zoë Hulme-Peake, and Georgia Lee, Humanitas Award
Back: Downlands Principal, Mr Stephen McIllhatton (centre) with dual recipients of the Kevin Hanley Prize for the Pursuit of Academic Excellence and the Second Highest overall Level of Academic Achievement, Thomas Markey and Fletcher Price

In the media:

The Chronicle

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