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Students honoured and farewelled at Year 12 Graduation

Joanna Li and Dr Greenhalgh

Meriden has warmly farewelled the Class of 2022 at a graduation ceremony attended by parents and other members of the School community. As part of the ceremony held at City Recital Hall, Dr Greenhalgh presented several awards that acknowledged the girls’ superb achievements during their time at Meriden.

In her farewell address to the Year 12 students, Dr Greenhalgh congratulated the cohort on mastering the demands of the HSC and encouraged the girls to continue to learn and seek new opportunities as they embark on their next journey.

“Our direct influence over your growth and development stops today. Fortunately, even though you are in the process of leaving school, your education does not stop now. You are all heading towards further education, be that university, an internship, a training program, or the like. Keep learning and keep educating your minds,” said Dr Greenhalgh.

“I also encourage you to keep educating your heart. Develop your sense of kindness and continue to empathise and see beauty in the world. I wish you all well as you leave to continue your education and make your marks on the world.”

Meriden’s Head Prefect, Adele, was awarded Dux of the School 2022 after topping five of her seven subjects this year whilst humbly leading the School.

Meriden’s Senior Firsts Water Polo Captain, Samantha Hardingham, was presented the Matheson Award for her continued dedication to her sport.

Other honours presented included the Rotary Prize for Citizenship, which was awarded to Eliza Heald; the Senior Taubman Prize, which was presented to Holly Layson for her commendable school spirit for all areas of school life; and the Ampol Best All Rounder which was presented to Hope Pham for her consistent leadership during her time at Meriden.

Eight students were awarded School Colours, a prestigious accolade given to Year 12 students who have achieved an exceptional level in a cocurricular activity at Meriden. Each recipient must have been an exemplary ambassador of the School during her time at Meriden and contributed to the School through her area of expertise over several years. Citations for each recipient are below.

Samantha Hardingham – Water Polo

Samantha is an outstanding Water Polo player. She is a member of Meriden’s Senior Firsts Water Polo Team and served as Meriden’s 2022 Water Polo Captain. Samantha is a member of the School’s Olympus Program for elite sportswomen and has proudly represented Meriden at the IGSA and NSWCIS tournaments. Beyond school level, Samantha has played for New South Wales in national competitions. She trains with the NSW Talent Squad and she was named by Water Polo Australia in the Youth Australian Squad (Born 2004-2005). This year, Samantha made her debut in the highest level of domestic competition – The Australian Water Polo League. With her unassuming manner, clear competitive focus and generous spirit, Samantha has been an exemplary model for younger Meriden Water Polo players.

Sarah Mazaraki – Tennis

Sarah is a rising tennis star and a member of Meriden’s Olympus Program. Sarah has been a member of the Meriden Tildesley Squad since 2017 and competed in the Tildesley Shield Tournament between 2019 and 2022. After placing runner-up in 2020, Sarah was a part of the winning doubles pair at the Tildesley Championship in 2022. This year, Sarah was captain of Meriden’s victorious S01 Tennis Team. Furthermore, Sarah has competed in a number of International Tennis Federation Tournaments (ITF) obtaining a world ranking. Sarah has been an important member of the Meriden Tennis Team and a wonderful source of encouragement for the younger players.

Indiya McLeod – Tennis

lndiya is a top-performing athlete and a member of the Olympus Program for elite sportswomen. In her early days at Meriden, lndiya represented the Meriden Blue Team at the Australian Schools Tennis Challenge in 2018 and 2019, where her team placed second overall. lndiya has been a member of the Meriden Tildesley Squad since 2017 and competed in the Tildesley Shield Tournament from 2017 to 2022. Between 2020 and 2022, lndiya qualified for the Tildesley Singles Championship final, winning the Singles title in two of the three years. In 2022, lndiya represented IGSA and the NSWCIS and was a member of the NSW All Schools Team. She was named Captain of the New South Wales Team for the Pizzey Cup Competition where she was announced in the All­Australian Team and personally commended by the team manager. lndiya has competed in several ITF tournaments both nationally and internationally and is an ITF world junior-ranked player. With her gracious demeanour and no-fuss approach, lndiya has been a valued leader within the tennis program and played a pivotal role in mentoring the next generation of elite players at Meriden.

Shirley Wang – STEM

Shirley has been a dedicated and innovative science student throughout her secondary schooling. In 2019, Shirley’s Year 8 Student Research Project won her selection as one of the twenty-five students from across Australia to participate in the BHP Science and Engineering Camp. A subsequent design for a safety helmet for firefighters earned her first place in the AARNet Technology Award as part of the STANSW Young Scientist Awards in 2020. In 2020, Shirley also competed as a Year 10 student in the Earth and Environmental Science Olympiad where she achieved a High Distinction and, consequently, she attended the prestigious Earth and Environmental Science Olympiad Summer Camp. In 2021, Shirley competed again in the Chemistry, Earth and Environmental Science and Physics Olympiads and achieved a High Distinction in all three Olympiads, placing her in the top ten per cent of students in Australia. Shirley participated in the Australian Earth and Environmental Sciences Olympiad Summer School for a second consecutive year in January 2022. Shirley is a role model to other young people as one of our 2021 Science Captains. Her dedication to encouraging young scientists in our School and her promotion of STEM initiatives reflects her passion for Science.

Annabelle Strachan – STEM

Annabelle’s research into a clean water supply commenced with her CSIRO Gold CREST award in 2020 with her project being awarded third place in the Chemistry Years 9 – 10 STA NSW Young Science Awards. She went on to represent New South Wales in the prestigious Australian Stockholm Junior Water Prize where she was awarded first place. She then represented Australia in the 2021 Stockholm Junior Water Prize, the world’s most prestigious youth award given to a high school student for water research. Annabelle continued her scientific research in Year 12 and worked with Sydney Water and Xylem on her Year 12 Science Extension project. She was recently named the winner of the Xylem Ignite, an incubator program designed to assist participants in commercialising their research projects after presenting a manufacturing process to representatives from international companies. Annabelle is articulate and innovative in her approach to solving scientific problems. She is passionate about scientific research and worked hard as our Science Captain in 2021 to promote Science and STEM in our School community.

Heather Kim – Music

Heather Kim is a superb violinist.  Having obtained her AMusA with Distinction in 2017, Heather achieved the LMus credential with Distinction in 2019. In the same year, she took part in the Rising Stars Program at the Conservatorium of Music and was accepted into the Australian Chamber Orchestra’s July Winter School. Since then, she has obtained the first prize at the Grand Prize Virtuoso International Music Competition in Germany and took part in the State Intensive Program of Young Mannheim Symphonists. This year, Heather attended the Australian Youth Orchestra National Music Camp. Heather has made an exceptional and high-quality contribution to Music at Meriden. Passionate about music, Heather has inspired and mentored younger musicians at the School.

Chaewon Park – Music

Chaewon is one of Meriden’s most exceptional cellists. During her time at Meriden, Chaewon successfully took part in numerous eisteddfods in the Sydney region. As well as a several second and third placings, Chaewon was awarded first place in the Open Age Unaccompanied Bach for String Section in the Ryde Eisteddfod and the Fifteen Years Under Baroque for String Section at the Northern Beaches Eisteddfod. Having obtained her AMusA in Year 8 in 2018, Chaewon was awarded her Licentiate Diploma of Music in Cello in 2020. Chaewon is a reliable and generous member of the music program at Meriden, and an unassuming mentor to the younger girls. Her contribution to music at Meriden is highly appreciated.

Piper Freeman – Tennis

Piper is an elite tennis star and has been an exemplary leader as Tennis Captain in 2022. She is a member of Meriden’s Olympus Program and has been a member of the Meriden Tildesley squad since 2019. In 2020, Piper was a semi-finalist in the prestigious Tildesley Singles Championships. Piper represented the Meriden Blue Team at the Australian Schools Tennis Challenge in 2019 where her team placed third overall. In 2022, Piper was named as both an IGSA and NSWCIS representative player. Piper obtained a world ITF ranking in 2022 and also played in a Women’s Tennis Association event. Her dedication to training and competition, along with her personable nature, has made her a valuable member of Meriden’s victorious tennis program.

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