Willetton General Exhibition winner sings the praises of a public school education

Willetton General Exhibition winner sings the praises of a public school education

THROUGHOUT her schooling, Willetton Senior High School student and General Exhibition winner Uma Nair (17) saw the value in balancing the tough subjects with the creative ones.

The Jandakot resident, who began high school with two scholarships – in computing as a gifted and talented (GATE) student and an arts scholarship – graduated 2016 as dux in English, chemistry, biology and economics.

While the multi-talented student pursued only her GATE scholarship, she said balance and maintaining a commitment to artistic subjects – particularly photography– was her secret to success.

Last month, Uma was named among the best and brightest West Australian high school graduates and awarded a General Exhibition after achieving 99.6 in her WACE.

She also received an excellence and distinction.

“I was so surprised when I read my name, as it was not something I was working towards,” Uma said.

“The first thing I did was Google what an exhibition was, and I thought it was pretty cool.”

Post school, Uma said she had allowed herself to relax, enjoying “movie binges” and setting new goals.

“I have started driving lessons and hope to get my licence soon, during year 11 and 12 there were too many things and so I can pick back up the things I put to the side,” she said.

In 2017, she hopes to go on to study medicine at Curtin University, where an emphasis on rural medicine appealed to her.

“Being a GP appeals to me, as does anything really in the health sciences field so it’s too early to tell where I would end up but I will enjoy learning as much as I can in the mean time,” she said.

Uma said she was thankful for the education she received at Willetton, and hoped the overall success of government school students in the WACE was an indication of how beneficial a state education could be.

“There is a certain pressure that going to a private school gets you further, but I don’t think that is true,” she said.

“If you sought help at Willetton you would always get it, the teachers always went the extra mile.”