Exceptional student wins award

14/09/15
RIDBC student, Julian, is now studying a Bachelor of Electrical Engineering at universityRIDBC student, Julian, is now studying a Bachelor of Electrical Engineering at university

RIDBC School Support Student, Julian, has been awarded a medal of excellence by RIDBC for his academic achievement in the Higher School Certificate (HSC).

Julian, who has vision loss, received an Australian Tertiary Admission Rank (ATAR) of 99.85. He attended St Luke’s Grammar and received support from RIDBC School Support Service, which places specialist RIDBC support teachers into schools to provide students with vision or hearing loss with in-class assistance and strategies for accessing the curriculum.

“I was diagnosed with Cone Dystrophy at birth,” said Julian. “It impacts my range of vision, peripheral vision and colour vision.

“I would say that my vision impairment has made me a quieter person and it takes longer than usual to get my bearings in new places. It meant I had to give up playing soccer and cricket after primary school, so I transitioned into other extra-curricular activities like debating and toastmasters.”

Julian was supported by RIDBC to ensure he had full access to the curriculum.

“Throughout high school I received assistance from RIDBC,” said Julian. “I’ve always benefitted from their support. In high school the interactive white boards were linked to a monitor which sat in front of my desk so that I could see more clearly. This meant that I could read slideshows, watch videos and see what the teachers were writing on the board if they were using a calibrated smart board pen.

“I approached the HSC in a very objective manner. I think that it was because of this mindset that I was never really stressed. I remember chatting away with friends about video games while waiting for an exam to start!”

Julian is now studying a Bachelor of Electrical Engineering at the University of New South Wales (UNSW).

“I have to sit in the front couple of rows in my lectures and sometimes I don’t see my friends when they wave at me,” said Julian.

“At this stage I would like to work with robotics and artificial intelligence after I graduate. I think robots are cool and that they have a lot of potential to improve the world.”

RIDBC also recognised a second award winner for their outstanding achievement in the HSC. Holly, who has hearing loss, received an ATAR of 91.8 and is now studying a Bachelor of Arts/Bachelor of Laws with a major in criminology.

Read more stories from our latest newsletter Donate to help kids like Julian