Community-focused CGGS students top ATAR

Posted 17 December 2019 1:39pm

Classmates and friends, Ailin He, 17, and Elisabeth Abhayaratna, 18, now have another shared accomplishment to add to their friendship – matching ATARs.

The Canberra Girls Grammar School (CGGS) students have each achieved an ATAR of 99.85, the top score of the School in 2019.

Ten CGGS students – 9.4% of the School’s Year 12 cohort – received a score above 99. This score is awarded only to the top 1% of students in the ACT and NSW.

This is the highest proportion of CGGS students with an ATAR above 99 in the last decade.

Together, these young women balanced their rigorous academic programs with co-curricular pursuits in sport, music and debating while also being upstanding ambassadors for the all-girls’ senior school.

Ailin, who was the School’s captain this year, studied Chemistry, double Specialist Mathematics, English Literature and Chinese. At her graduation ceremony, held on Thursday, 5 December, Ailin earned various awards including Prizes for English, Chinese, Academic Excellence and School Leadership. Her peers also voted her to be awarded with the Valued Contribution to Year 12.

“I was surrounded by a group of girls that uplifted, empowered and inspired one another. [CGGS] is an environment that fosters confidence in our abilities and power to voice our opinions,” Ailin said.

“I have been instilled with a deep sense of responsibility and pride in being a strong, independent woman; something I will carry with me into the workplace and beyond.”

As a House Captain, Elisabeth’s natural leadership qualities saw her lead Deakin House to win the best all-round House award for 2019. She says the drive to succeed at CGGS – in all pursuits – is fostered by teachers and staff.

“Their assistance, and the positive attitude with which they have given it, has enabled me to extend my academics and has encouraged this pursuit,” Elisabeth said.

“I have been lucky to have attended a school where my academic desires have been supported and encouraged by my teachers.”

Her ambition was also recognised at graduation where she received the Prize for Specialist Mathematics and the Prize for Physics.

Both young women hope to study medicine, though they are still weighing up their options as to which university they will attend.

Twenty-five students (23.6%) earned an ATAR score of 95 or higher. Thirty-six students (34%) received a score greater than 90 and 66 students (62.3%) received a score above 80.

Canberra Girls Grammar School Principal Anna Owen celebrated the students’ outstanding achievement.

“These young women, their attitudes and achievements, are a product of our strong school values – inclusion, courage, integrity,” Mrs Owen said.

“Not only have they worked diligently to achieve an exceptional ATAR, they have also been outstanding role models for all at CGGS.

“Their sense of service, empathy, compassion and generosity in giving back to the community is truly inspiring.”

Alongside Ailin and Elisabeth, the following CGGS students were also recognised at the ACT Board of Senior Secondary Studies (BSSS) Recognition of Excellence Ceremony at Llewellyn Hall on Tuesday, 17 December:

  • Grace Kemp - High Achievement by an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander
  • Yiping Yu - Outstanding Achievement in Community Services
  • Georgia Warren - Excellence Award for Continuing French (Georgia was unable to attend the ceremony)

Photo at top: Elisabeth and Ailin

Photo below: Elisabeth, Grace, Ailin and Yiping after the BSSS ceremony