Colac teen receives state award

Trinity College Colac principal Tim O’Farrell, left, and media teacher Ryan Geary were in Melbourne yesterday when former student Nena Washington received a Premier’s VCE Award. Turn to page 3 for the story.

Colac’s Nena Washington joined the state’s top-performing students at the Premier’s VCE Awards yesterday, which recognised her achievement in media last year.

Nena’s final ATAR score led to her graduating as 2017 dux at Trinity College Colac, but a perfect study score of 50 in media also put her among 274 top-performing students in the state.

Victorian Education Minister James Merlino congratulated her at an awards ceremony for VCE students at the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre yesterday, which recognised her among four media students to receive last year’s top score.

Nena’s photography-based work captured hidden-in-plain-sight moments of teenage life, with a particular focus on colour.

But the budding visual-art student only began media and photography in Year 12 after dropping physics.

“Just follow what you love,” Nena said when asked what advice she had for students.

“I struggled in physics, I tried my best, but it wasn’t something I loved or looked forward to studying. Whereas with media I enjoyed it,” she said.

Nena said she accomplished a perfect score by “trying different things”, working on her written portfolio and “not just settling”.

“I was quite a perfectionist about it,” she said.

Now a creative-arts student at Deakin University, she said the award reflected on the efforts made by Trinity College Colac teachers and Year 12 students.

“It just reinforces that good things are happening at the school,” Nena said.

“There are people out there putting it all in, and I found that was the majority; everyone was trying their best.”

Trinity media teacher Ryan Geary said Nena’s result was outstanding for Colac.

“Coming from a country town, it’s unique, because you don’t get as much recognition,” he said.

For the full story see today’s Colac Herald.

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