College Dux one of Qld's Top Graduates

February 18, 2019

Downlands College Dux, Zoë Hulme-Peake received a Distinguished Academic Achiever Award at the Queensland Certificate of Education (QCE) Achievement Awards on Saturday 16 February. These annual awards recognise and reward Queensland’s top-performing Year 12 students for outstanding academic achievement.

One of 30 Distinguished Academic Achiever Award winners, Zoë finished Year 12 with the impressive result of a Very High Achievement (VHA) in eight OP subjects, and she was the recipient of individual subject awards for Drama, English, French, Music, Music Extension, Physics and Study of Religion. 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.

Described by one of her teachers as a ‘once in a generation student’, 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 attended both the National and International Youth Science Forums and joined the 2018 NYSF Student Staff Leadership program to work with the next generation of students at the 2019 NYSF student sessions.

“I’m fascinated by the diverse interplay of science and the arts, and particularly interested in the relationship between physics and philosophy,” Zoë said.

Zoë has accepted a place at Homerton College at Cambridge University in the UK and plans to study Philosophy Tripos, which she hopes to pair with Physics sometime in the future. According to Zoë, “I’m not sure where my study will lead, but it’s important to me to integrate an element of social justice and change for the better into my future career.”

As one of the 2018 College Leaders, Zoë was an advocate for inspiring change and creating a more equitable environment. With her course set to start in October, it’s not surprising to find Zoë back at Downlands three nights a week, passing it forward through her involvement in two support programs - Indigenous Tutoring and Boarding Mentoring. 

“The people that I met throughout my experience at Downlands helped, especially in Year 12, to inspire the capacity for me to stand up for what I think is right. In the current socio-political and environmental climate, that kind of attitude is what needs to be inspired in all of today's young people. In short, my experience at Downlands helped me practise being brave for life."

Click to view Zoë's story in the media:

The Chronicle

Seven News Toowoomba

Highlife

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