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Haileybury Students Acing Australian Geography

NEWS 2 Aug 2021

Interpreting data that predicts Indonesia’s urban and rural populations in 2050 and understanding map coordinates and Australian migration patterns—these were just some of the topics that recently tested some of the country’s best Geography students.

The annual Australian Geography Competition attracts entries from schools across the country. This year, 73,000 students from more than 700 schools took part and answered a series of multiple-choice questions to test their geographical knowledge and skills.

Haileybury students in Years 7 and 8 took part and 11 of those students achieved results that place them in the top 1% of students. In addition, 82 students achieved high distinctions.

At the School’s Edrington campus, Year 8 students Jake Santalucia, Movidu Gannoruwa and Clarence Antonmeryl were recognised for their outstanding results, with Jake also achieving equal first place in Victoria.

News - Australian Geography Competition Winners
Australian Geography Competition Winners (L-R) Clarence Antonmeryl, Jake Santalucia, Movidu Gannoruwa

“These results are due to the enthusiasm and fantastic effort of students and teachers,” says Ms Jacqueline Gough, Head of Curious Minds.

“As a school, we aim to provide unique opportunities for students that appeal to their passions and skills. The Australian Geography Competition is just one way in which students can showcase their knowledge and understanding.”

Clarence enjoys studying Geography and says he will consider studying it in his senior years at Haileybury.

“Geography gives meaning to different places and allows us to understand the world around us. I mostly like to look at maps and study about urban environments,” he says.

Movidu says: “I enjoy studying Geography as I learn more about the world and the environment. My favourite topics in Geography are urbanisation and the development of cities.”

“Some of the questions were quite difficult and took me a while to understand and analyse. I am very happy with the results I have achieved.”

Curious Minds Program and the Australian Geography Competition

The Australian Geography Competition is part of Haileybury’s Curious Minds Program that runs from Prep to Year 12. It allows students to engage with a broad range of extra-curricular and academic extension activities that incorporate Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) and Literature, Enterprise, Arts and Politics (LEAP).

“The Program cultivates passion and allows students to choose what they engage with most —LEAP or STEM-based activities,” says Ms Gough.

Students can take advantage of several LEAP initiatives and activities as part of Curious Minds. One initiative is the Compass Award, an extension of the Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award Program.

Students can also compete in the National History Challenge and a version of the Model United Nations program, where students role play, assume the roles of delegates and discuss international issues from deforestation to the situation in the Middle East. The Haileybury Hive beekeeping program, Drone Academy and Future Problem Solving are also part of the Curious Minds Program.

“We also facilitate the Foundation for Young Australians $20 Boss Program, which encourages enterprise and sees students design and start their own business venture and learn valuable skills along the way,” says Ms Gough.

“Curious Minds is a way to re-imagine all things extra-curricular. It’s an engaging and cohesive approach to learning outside the classroom that provides out-of-the-box programs, activities and competitions that enable students to engage with their passions, skills and interests.”

“We are very proud of these latest outstanding results by Haileybury students. They illustrate a love of learning, hard work and brilliant teaching.”