Pictured: Principal Mark Ashmore and 2023 Dux, Gavriel Hariyanto
On behalf of our community, I congratulate our 2023 Dux, Gavriel Hariyanto who achieved outstanding ATARs of 99.75, putting him in the top 0.2% of all Year 12 students in the state.
Achieving a study score of 46 in Physics, 46 in Mathematical Methods, 45 in English as an additional Language, 43 in Chemistry and 41 in Specialist Mathematics, Gavriel intends to study his first preference of Biomedicine at The University of Melbourne
I spoke to Gavriel about how he remained focused in his senior years, and the key people in his life who provided him with support and guidance. I also had the opportunity to hear Gavriel share his plans for the future.
Can you explain what motivated you to achieve excellence?
My achievements could never be allocated to a singular factor but rather a culmination between my sheer determination to do my very best. But more importantly, it was the unwavering motivation I received from all of my mates, which assisted me greatly in enduring the ‘marathon’ that is Year 12. In spite of all the challenges this year, I think it was the realisation that the struggles and pressures prompted by the VCE exams which I’ve faced, were not unique to me. These revelations reinforced my sense of solidarity and resilience, encouraging me to endure the adversities I encountered in my senior years.
Now that results are out, what are your plans?
With the stresses of VCE exams now eased, my main priority is to spend the rest of my break with my friends and families, including some short summer holiday trips. I’d also like to take the time to discover new hobbies and ambitions, before returning to education (university), as I hope to receive an offer from the University of Melbourne to pursue a Bachelor degree of Biomedicine. I am eagerly anticipating what the future awaits for me and I do hope I will find some resemblance of the sense of brotherhood and community that has cultivated during my time in Salesian College Chadstone.
With exceptional results come a variety of options. How will these opportunities help you arrive at your overall future goal?
While I have always aimed towards and narrowed my options down to a medical pathway, I continue to grapple with the challenges of pinpointing the exact pathway that complements my passion. I do hope that the results that I’ve received will still leave the door open for me to explore different pathways if need be, but for now I’d like to stick with my original preference of biomedical studies.
How would you explain yourself in four words?
Persistent, conscientious, zealous and courteous.
How have your teachers helped guide you and keep you focused during Year 12?
In my time as a Year 12 student, I observed that the assistance offered by all our teachers was rooted in a sincere concern and genuine desire for our collective success. Much like the cohort, I frequently encountered obstacles and moments of confusion at certain times. However, the supportive environment upheld by the teachers of Salesian College Chadstone have not only bolstered my confidence in my understanding but also fostered an encouraging environment for us to learn and enhance our abilities. I express my heartfelt gratitude for the delightful and enjoyable atmosphere cultivated by my Year 12 subject teachers, Mr Khambete, Mr McDonald, Ms Mcgrath, Ms Milessi, Ms Rolfe and Mr Chen, and in addition I’d like to thank my Oratory teacher Mr Bermingham for always keeping my spirits high this year.
What role has courage and determination played in helping you to achieve your goals?
The act of being courageous and confident is instrumental to your success, whether that be musical prowess, athleticism, or academic excellence. Numerous times at Salesian College, I had forced myself outside of my comfort zone, embracing challenges essential for my own personal growth.
There isn’t anything that can prevent you from ultimately succeeding your goals apart from your doubts. You are your biggest doubter and no one will ever have higher expectations for you other than yourself. So, once you conquer your hesitations, I believe that you can achieve anything, so long as you maintain the drive, and you maintain the power. As long as you remember to stay committed. And to always put in the work, put in the hours and finally then you can take what’s yours.
What have your Salesian relationships taught you?
When I started as a Year 7 back in 2018, I was not only confronted with the fear of stepping into new grounds, I’ve also had to navigate the challenges of acclimating to a new culture, establishing new connections and foreign lands at the time. As I continue to adapt to my new home, I find that over time, I’ve forged stronger bonds with the people at the College. These connections have not only boosted my confidence but have also welcomed me into a hospitable and inclusive community. The relationships cultivated over the past six years have imparted a profound lesson on the importance of community. Beyond serving as a physical source for support and care, this community plays a pivotal role in enhancing my cognitive wellness.
What three points of advice for students that you would like to share?
My first and most important tip I suggest to all students is to maintain balance between your school and your private life. While this notion has definitely been repeated thousands of times over, its sheer frequency of its repetition simply underscores the profound significance it bears in your scholastic endeavours. Undeniably, the grind is real, and that you should always try to allocate time for your studies/revision despite how busy you may be. Active recall, a cognitive strategy, serves to strengthen foundational knowledge, to which these concepts become second nature. However, the issue of burnout looms largely among students, including myself. Sustaining motivation is so integral to achieving academic prowess, and I believe that just by establishing clear boundaries and embracing personal interests and hobbies – be that of extracurricular activity or pursuing musical talent – it guards you from exhaustion. What I’m ultimately trying to say, is to keep grinding, but always avoid overexerting. Strike a balance and keep pushing forward, and at all times, prioritise your wellbeing.
Secondly, I want to emphasise the importance of maximising the resources at your disposal. Take full advantage of the teachers at Salesian who are dedicated to facilitating your success, and the wealth of materials which are readily available to you.
Lastly, the journey through secondary school is a unique and singular experience in your lifetime. You may interpret this advice in any way you’d like – whether it’s an opportunity to fully cultivate your academic skills and prepare yourself for future studies, or a chance to contribute meaningfully to the broader community. Salesian provides a myriad of opportunities for you to actively participate in this wonderful community, fostering a sense of brotherhood with your peers.
How did you balance academic excellence with other aspects of your College experience, such as extracurricular activities?
Establishing a consistent routine to juggle both academic commitments and extracurricular activities is important. I believe it’s equally important to go above and beyond to prevent extracurricular pursuits from derailing academic focus. Approaching my final year, my strategy was to proactively stay ahead in my studies. By doing so, I ensured that when the College eventually required me to participate in extracurricular events, I wouldn’t fall behind, sparing myself the need to exhaustively catch up with my peers.