Two young women making a difference.
When Natalie Frank chose to settle her nerves the night before VCE results were due with some light reading, little did she know that she would wake not only with a brilliant 99.05 ATAR score but as one of two Dux Secundus for Mentone Girls’ Grammar, a perfect score of 50 in English and with one quarter of Jane Austen's Pride & Prejudice read.
And in a quirky coincidence the other remarkable Dux Secundus, Michelle Xing was a few minutes' drive away, also sleepless and reading the same book.
Both Michelle and Natalie returned to school on 14 December to celebrate their exceptional results with teachers and Principal Fran Reddan, who laughingly admitted to having a sleepless night too.
“I just could not fall asleep with the anticipation,” says delighted Natalie who has her fingers crossed for an offer to study medicine at either Melbourne or Monash University “The text came through early and I just couldn’t believe it”.
Michelle however, who also has her sights set on medicine but this time in paediatrics, slept through her 7am alarm, only waking at 8am with her mum eager to find out her results.
“The first thing I looked at was if I got the prerequisite marks, that was a relief and then I looked at the score,” tell Michelle.
“Make sure you savour this moment,” Mrs Reddan told both girls. “You’ve done it and you need to take some time to actually enjoy what you’ve accomplished.
“Just remember to stay positive and hang on to all the joys you have earned…and we would love you to stay connected with us,” adds Mrs Reddan.
That won’t be hard for Natalie who has already said she is keen to coach aerobics in 2019 at the School.
Natalie also hopes to get her driver’s licence over the holidays so that she can drop off and pick up her sister Nicole going into Year 8.
“I am also really looking forward to getting involved as an Old Girl,” adds Natalie whose dad is a doctor and mum a radiographer.
And when it comes to offering advice to future Year 12s at Mentone Girls’ Grammar, Michelle, who started at the School in Year 3, says there’s only one thing.
“Choose the subjects that you really love, don’t choose on scaling,” advises Michelle, “Everyone that does that is happier, you put more time into it and you understand the concepts better.”
“That’s what I did and I loved my subjects and teachers– especially Mr Gas in English,” she smiles “He was just amazing.” Sentiments also echoed by Natalie.
As a school Michelle says the one thing that she will remember in 20 years’ time is “the culture”. “There are so many aspects that are unique to Mentone Girls’ that you just don’t get anywhere else,” says Michelle “Even down to our Year Level, everyone kept each other up, it’s just a part of being at this School”.