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Cultural Scholarship winner tells story of travel

Kevin Chen (Left) and Piero Craney (Right) pictured

The winner of the 2013 Warrane Cultural Scholarship, Kevin Chen, has an inspiring story to tell about his journey to high levels of achievement in cultural, academic and community support activities.

Kevin’s story is a story of travel. Born in the United States, he spent a couple of months in California before moving to Taiwan. There he grew up in Taipei before arriving in Australia. He has since lived in Brisbane with his family where he attended school. As a Warrane collegian, he is now living in Sydney as he undertakes undergraduate study at the University of New South Wales.

Living in several countries has given Kevin an exposure to a variety of cultures. This has greatly influenced his world perspective and cultivated an open mindset that embraces opportunity. His exceptional achievements in cultural, academic andcommunity support activities are a clear testament to his willingness to try, and his perseverance to be the best he can be.

On a cultural level, Kevin is an avid musician who has played the viola since he was 9.

One of his musical highlights includes performing in the Queensland Youth Orchestra 2 (QYO2) in Sydney for the 2010 Australian International Music Festival where the orchestra received a Gold Award. Last year, the Brisbane State High School’s (BSHS) Symphony Orchestra, which he was a part, received a Finalist Award and Platinum Award for the Queensland Fanfare and Queensland Musicfest competitions, respectively.

Kevin is also an enthusiastic debater. He represented BSHS as a Senior A debater in the Greater Public Schools’ Association and the Queensland Debating Union in 2012. In addition, he was a final rounds debater of the Queensland Debating Union competition in 2011.

Among his other cultural achievements were the Spirit of Opti-­‐Minds award in the State Finals of 2011 and First Place in the Regional Finals of Opti-­‐Minds. Academically, Kevin received Academia awards for very high achievement in all of his subjects in 2008, 2009, 2011 and 2012. Kevin graduated high school with an ATAR of 99.40.

With a passion for student affairs and a drive for leadership, Kevin represented BSHS as both a Prefect and Peer Supporter during his senior years of high school.

Kevin has shown that he cares deeply about helping others by participating in many community services. Throughout high school, he volunteered for the Queensland Meals on Wheels, the 40 Hour Famine and advocated for Amnesty International. Following the Queensland floods of 2011, he aided flood victims, helping out with clean up and restoration services.

Given his many commitments, Kevin would often face significant stress and doubt.

These had a toll on his motivation, especially during the final year of high school as he looked to studying interstate. To cope with these, he said, “I often listen to music and turn to my supportive family and friends, as both have been, and continue to be, an integral part of my life.”

As Kevin continues his musicianship in the UNSW Orchestra and pursues his academic interests, he sees the future with a positive mindset. He is currently studying a combined commerce/law undergraduate degree and hopes to carry forth his ‘carpe diem’ attitude to those he meets.