NSW students congratulated for “doggedness and determination” as ATAR results are released

Claire Halliday
Claire Halliday

The class of 2023 is a cohort of students whose early years of high school were hampered by the impact of lockdowns during the COVID-19 pandemic’s darkest days and today NSW Premier Chris Minns congratulated that state’s 67,000-plus Year 12 students for completing the HSC after the disruption.

He also aimed to reassure students who didn’t get the marks they wanted by telling them the “world is your oyster”.

Premier Minns marked today’s release of the NSW HSC results with a visit to Blakehurst High School in Sydney’s south and shared advice for those students who might be unsure about their next steps into the world beyond secondary school to “take your time”.

“We’re very proud of these students in particular for one big reason, that is that they had to battle to get outstanding results in their HSC right through the COVID pandemic,” he said. “Much of their schooling was spent at home learning remotely, and they stuck with it and that doggedness and determination, while disruptive while they were undertaking their HSC, I think will stand them in good stead as they depart their schools … because resilience and grit are part and parcel of being successful in life.”

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State’s highest achievers celebrate their hard work

Of the 67, 234 students who completed their HSC in NSW in 2023, 55,519 students are now eligible to receive an ATAR, with another 20,000 leaving school with a vocational qualification.

72 per cent of NSW students achieved results that place them in the top three bands, with around 12 per cent in the top performance band.

Among the state’s highest-scoring students are graduating Year 12 students at Alpha Omega College in Auburn, Nuha Khaleal and Zahra Fouladi. Ms Fouladi achieved an ATAR of 98.95, while Ms Khaleal achieved a 99.8 ATAR.

At Knox Grammar School in Sydney, student Jacob Johnstone placed first in English extension 1 and legal studies, with an overall perfect ATAR of 99.95.

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“I owe it all to my teachers and my family. The teachers did a great job, they helped me every step of the way,” he said. “I am grateful and so humbled. I never thought I would get anywhere near this.”

Students in the ACT also received their ATAR results today, with students in Tasmania celebrating their scores yesterday.

For those NSW students who did not end up with the marks they might have hoped for today, Premier Minns offered some words of encouragement.

“I think a big message out of today is that if you’re a bit deflated, if you didn’t get the mark that you hoped for, trust me, I promise you there are so many pathways to success,” he said. “And particularly in a country like Australia, the sky’s the limit.”

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Claire Halliday has an extensive career as a full-time writer - across book publishing, copywriting, podcasting and feature journalism - for more than 25 years. She lives in Melbourne with children, two border collies and a grumpy Burmese cat. Contact: claire.halliday[at]brandx.live