Catholic students triumph over adversity in VCE


Students who have battled adversity to achieve academic excellence are among the high performers from Catholic schools in this year’s VCE results.

Profound deafness proved no barrier to Dhruvi Desai becoming joint dux of Aquinas College, Ringwood, and St Mary’s College for Hearing Impaired Students, with an ATAR of 99.1.

And Saad Al-Kassab topped the table at Catholic Regional College, Sydenham, with an ATAR of 96.65 despite only starting learning English after arriving in Australia as a refugee from Syria in June 2014 and missing two years of school due to the conflict in his homeland, instead studying at home with his mother.

Catholic Education Melbourne Executive Director Stephen Elder said the results were an endorsement of Catholic education’s focus on the whole student.

‘Catholic schools work hard to discover what matters to each student and identify what they want from life and what will give them joy,’ Mr Elder said.

‘Without a strong sense of self, successful learning and achievement is difficult to attain.

‘We’ve seen today what that approach can deliver.

‘I’m proud of Dhruvi and Saad, their teachers and school communities and share their joy,’ Mr Elder said, ‘just as I am proud of all our students who have successfully completed their VCEs and the contributions of their teachers and parents.

‘Some say education is a labour of love. In Catholic schools it is more. It’s a mission; a mission to change the world for the better through our young.

‘Today’s results show how we are making a difference.’

For further information contact Christian Kerr, Media Adviser on 0402 977 352 or 9267 4411. 

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