When Harry Nguyen woke up at 6.55am on Thursday, he took the time to brush his teeth.
Next, the Footscray City College Year 12 student opened his email.
“I checked my email and bam, I was just stunned.”
Harry discovered he had been awarded an ATAR (Australian Tertiary Admission Rank) score of 99.9, including a perfect score of 50 for English and an Additional Language.
“I was thinking ‘no way’; the night before I was thinking maybe I hadn’t done that well and I was prepared for that, but it went beyond my wildest expectations.”
The ATAR score is the primary criterion for entry into most undergraduate-entry university programs in Australia.
The Maidstone student’s result was Footscray City College’s highest ever result, a perfect way to cap of the school’s final stand-alone year before it becomes absorbed into the multi-campus Footscray High School from 2020.
Footscray City College has recorded strong growth in ATAR results over the last decade, climbing from an average of 54 in 2009 to 67 in 2019.
From next year the school will be the senior campus of the Footscray High School next year, catering for students from years 10 to 12.
By that stage Harry Nguyen will be off to university. His ATAR of 99.9 opens the door to any degree at any institution he wishes, with a strong chance he will be following his passion for civil engineering.
“I’ve always been fascinated with the public transport system and all the things operating in the network depend on civil engineering,” he said.
In the shorter term, Harry intended to celebrate his result by treating himself to a buffet dinner.
His advice for students tackling their VCE is simply applying themselves and persevering.
“It’s not about intelligence, it’s more about determination and perseverance,” he said.
“My family has been very supportive and my school as well. It was a really positive vibe speaking with my friends, they are all quite happy with their results.”
School principal Angelique den Brinker said she was pleased with the excellent overall results.
“We’re very pleased with Harry’s amazing result,” she said.
“It’s a wonderful example of someone who has come from another country and who will be a wonderful future citizen.”
Ms den Brinker said the results are a great way to finish for Footscray City College.
“The success of the college is a result of many years of work by the previous principal Maria Bawden and the staff,” she said.
“I’m sure that Footscray High School will continue this success in the future.”