Curiosity fuels achievement


Tanya Johnston married her love of science and photography.
Tanya Johnston married her love of science and photography.

She also volunteers at Scitech and works with animals at Caversham Wildlife Park.

“I have an undying curiosity to find out how things work,” she said.

Ms Johnston’s determination earned her Greenwood College’s dux award for the top Australian Tertiary Admission Rank (ATAR) student.

She was also named on the State Government’s Year 12 Best and Brightest Award list for 2015, which recognises 200 WA public secondary school students for their outstanding academic and vocational achievements.

“My teachers were always supportive,” she said.

“They were happy to answer all my questions and went into their own time to guide and teach me.”

Ms Johnston also used her own initiative to drive projects in the local community.

Tasked with organising a photography exhibition for her class, she decided she wanted to increase the exposure for her classmates’ creative work rather than just display it in school library.

“I organised with the local shopping centre to hold the photographic exhibition there,” she said.

She co-ordinated and promoted the week-long exhibition and even negotiated for the shopping centre to sponsor a prize at the school’s graduation ceremony.

While photography remains a passion, Ms Johnston sees her professional future in the sciences.

“I hope to go to Curtin University and study general science in the first year to get a feel for all of the sciences before I specialise,” she said.

Greenwood College’s dux award for the top Vocational Education and Training (VET) student went to Nicole Elder.

Both received $1000 for being named on the Best and Brightest Award list.

Year 12 Best and Brightest Award list 2015

Ashdale Secondary College: Michael Belstead (ATAR) and Shari Azaman (VET)

Belridge Secondary College: Mahshad Moeini (ATAR) and Madison Anderson (VET)

Clarkson Community High School: Florence Blagg (ATAR) and Luke Willemsen (VET)

Duncraig Senior High School: Daniel Vu (ATAR) and Ester Bolgia (VET)

Girrawheen Senior High School: Dylan Gould (ATAR) and Bianka Rogers (VET)

Greenwood College: Tanya Johnston (ATAR) and Nicole Elder (VET)

Mindarie Senior College: John Tanner (ATAR) and Lachlan Gray (VET)

Ocean Reef Senior High School: Marco Viljoen (ATAR) and Kess Ward (VET)

Wanneroo Secondary College: Casey Brown (ATAR) and Amy Williams (VET)

Warwick Senior High School: Amber Pegler (ATAR) and Suraya Bell (VET)

Woodvale Secondary College: Daniel Brown (ATAR) and Caitlin Wood (VET)