An aspiring paramedic and a promising academic composer and musicologist have been recognised as local trailblazers for their efforts beyond the classroom.
James Green from Glebe and Ellery Joyce from Burwood have received Art of Smart Education’s Year 12 Trailblazer 2021 award.
The award recognises the top 50 NSW high school graduates who did Year 12 differently and made contributions across social, environmental, business and scientific fields while completing their HSC.
James, a student at Trinity Grammar School, has wanted to be a paramedic since he was 12. Throughout his time at high school, he completed 80 hours of Workplace Incident Response work to fulfil the replacement hours for a Certificate IV in Healthcare and volunteered over 500 hours with St John Ambulance.
Despite the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic and lockdown restrictions, James worked 12 hour night shifts as a patient transport worker and would attend school the following day.
Ellery, a graduate of MLC School, honed her decade-long passion for music by single-handedly creating a vocal composition inspired by the tragic 2019/2020 Australian bushfires.
Her piece, ‘Prayer in F’ explores the sounds and sensations of the devastating fires, and was inspired by Ellery’s work with affected communities and the experience of a close friend.
The piece took over 60 hours to write, and a further 20 to adapt for her school’s chorus. Throughout the process, Ellery led weekly rehearsals and adapted her piece to fit the specific performers’ capabilities.
The judges of the Trailblazer Award included National Director of Amnesty International Australia, Sam Klintworth, and NSW Treasurer Matt Kean.
“In a year of adversity and intense mental pressure, it is inspiring to see how young people looked beyond the HSC and made amazing contributions to their families, schools and communities,” Klintworth said.
“There’s a growing number of young Australians doing incredible things for their community, environment, sporting groups, local business and more,” Founder and CEO of Art of Smart Education, Rowan Kunz said.