More than 40 top scoring graduates from the Class of 2023 at Matthew Flinders Anglican College returned to their rainforest campus in Buderim on the Sunshine Coast to accept prizes at the Scholars Awards Ceremony on Wednesday, 7 February.
Principal Michelle Carroll congratulated the Year 12s of 2023, who returned as ‘Old Flinderians’ - the official moniker for the Flinders alumni - to collect their subject and specialist awards.
Guests included graduate Agnethe Kjaer who achieved the highest ATAR of 99.95 – one of only 34 students in Queensland to achieve this score - and was one of the College’s 27 graduates to achieve straight A grades in all subjects in 2023.
Agnethe was awarded Dux of the College and received an Academic Medal for her prizes, including top student in both Year 12 Economics and English, and achieving straight A’s in all subjects.
In her acceptance speech, Agnethe dedicated her Dux Award to her Class of 2023 cohort: “This Award represents all our hard work and our collective blood, sweat and tears. I am so excited to see where each one of you goes in the future and I wish you all the best.
“School camps, Year 11 retreat and Formal were just a few of my favourite memories with all of you. The togetherness and friendship within our cohort was incredible and something I will not forget.”
She also thanked the teachers: “Your tireless effort to make our high school more memorable has not gone unnoticed and we are so grateful”.
Sharing advice with the Years 7 to 12 students in the audience, Agnethe said, “Have faith in yourself, always strive to do your best and look out for each other.”
She also encouraged students to:
- recognise that everyone works differently, learns at their own pace, and has different strengths and weaknesses
- don’t measure your progress against others
- focus on working to the best of YOUR ability and cultivating a genuine love for learning that aligns with YOUR own interests
- opt for subject choices that genuinely interest and inspire you
- spend time with friends and family, and strive for a balanced life
- make time for yourself and the things you love to support your wellbeing and help you achieve even more, whether that be sports, reading or music
In her keynote speech, Principal Michelle Carroll thanked the Flinders staff who work in partnership with the students to support them in achieving their academic goals.
Ms Carroll also encouraged the Old Flinderian graduates to “embark on this new chapter with courage, passion, and an unwavering determination to make a difference”.
Ms Carroll invited the audience to be inspired by the winners of the 2024 Australian of the Year award, scientists Professor Georgina Long and Professor Richard Scolyer who work on the treatment of skin cancer.
Ms Carroll noted that even though Professor Scolyer was himself suffering from a type of brain cancer, he continued to live his life to the full.
Professor Scolyer said in his Australian of the Year speech, ‘So, I say to all Australians, no matter what life throws at you, seek out opportunities to contribute, to participate and to action change. And as I like to say, ‘have a crack’. And don’t just lean in, leap in’.”
Prior to the Flinders Scholars Awards Ceremony, the graduates gathered for a morning tea with their families and staff at the Flinders Quarterdeck Cafe to catch up and share their plans for 2024 and beyond. They also received their College magazine, The Investigator 2023, featuring special photos and memories from their final year of schooling.
Learn more about our Class of 2023 ATAR results.