IF YOU'D asked Moama Anglican Grammar's MingJun (Daniel) Chu five years ago if he thought he would be named dux of the school, he would have said no in a heart beat.
And probably said it in Chinese, not English. But the boy, who moved to Australia from China in Year 7, only speaking the most basic English, received an ATAR of 99.4 making him the school’s dux for 2019.
“I moved to Australia from Beijing, which in itself was a big change going from somewhere so large to a small place like Moama,” he said.
“At that stage I could only speak very basic English, so I spent a lot of my high school life learning English by speaking with my friends, television shows and books.”
But all the struggle led up to this moment, the moment yesterday morning when the results came in.
“I woke up shaking, worried about what my score would be,” he said.
“But once I got my results, I couldn't be more excited.”
Daniel's year was a tough one, but it's clear he came out on the other side more than victorious.
“We started our year of Year 12 in term four of last year and if I'm honest I wasn't too worried in the first half of the year,” he said.
“I got to the second half of the year and got myself into gear. I studied hard all the way up until exams.”
And his hard work paid off. Daniel obtained five scores in band six (the highest band) including a 96 in biology, a 95 in chemistry, 96 in standard English, 92 in Maths and a 97 in beginners Japanese.
He was placed third in the State for biology as well as being in the top eight students in the State for Japanese.
He was also placed on the All-round Achievers merit list for receiving the highest bands possible in at least 10 units.
With scores like that, he's bound to be a shoe in for his future.
“I'm aiming to study a Bachelor of Biomedicine at the University of Melbourne next year and I'm really hoping to get there,” he said.
“I'd really like to become a general practitioner or surgeon.”
When he makes it, he wants to ensure the medical world is easier for those who don't use English as a first language.
“Last year, my mother got quite sick with really bad food poisoning,” he said.
“English isn't her first language and she really struggled to tell the doctors what was wrong.
“I want to be in the medical field and make sure people who can speak limited English can confide in a doctor and know I will understand them.”
And it wasn't just Daniel who came away with an incredible score.
“Moama Anglican Grammar’s Year 12 students have achieved outstanding results in the 2019 HSC demonstrating that ‘The Grammar’ is still the premier K-12 School in the region,” Head of Teaching and Learning Secondary Stuart Hughes said.
The school had seven students (10 per cent of the Year 12 cohort) receive an ATAR of over 90.00.
Among their top performing students were Naomi Hughes (ATAR 94.5), Maddison Zlateff (ATAR 93.5), Mia Oberin (ATAR 92.75), Hayden James (ATAR 91.1).
“The outstanding results are evident as 37 per cent of the students’ results were either a band 5 or band 6,” he said.
“The students received 32 band six results with 12 students from the school being placed on the Distinguished Achievers list for achieving the highest band possible for one or more subjects.
“The school also received 94 individual band five results which is a fantastic effort by the students.”
A benchmark in New South Wales schools is to make the top 200 list of schools.
“Moama Anglican Grammar made the Top 200 Schools list for NSW, ranking 182nd, an outstanding effort for a regional school,” Stuart said.
Daniel is also excited to receive his Australian Citizenship on Australia Day in 2020.