Warrane College UNSW | college accommodation for students at UNSW
Warrane College UNSW | college accommodation for students at UNSW

Scholar had some ups and downs along the way

Peter Bradshaw (Pictured)

Although he has always been interested in learning and in challenging his mind, the winner of Warrane’s Academic Achievement Residential Award for 2013, Peter Bradshaw, has experienced some ups and downs in his academic career.

In primary school, Peter was inspired by one of his teachers, a Marist brother named Brother Anthony. “He was particularly enthusiastic and kindled my love for learning and allowed me to reach my potential,” Peter said.

Thanks to a strong aptitude for mathematics that developed as Peter approached his later primary school years he placed well in a number of mathematics competitions. In fact, he achieved perfect scores in both the ICAS Mathematics competition and the Australian Mathematics Competition. But then, after Peter entered high school his enthusiasm waned.

“Between Years 7 and 10, there was an absence of academic stimulation, and for a long time I lost interest in learning,” Peter explained.

“In fact, the only mathematics that I learned during this time was an appreciation for logic and problem solving, which my father taught me.”

Peter’s cynicism towards his secondary education took a toll on his confidence in his abilities and his academic performance suffered accordingly. He went from being a straight A’s student to a consistent B student.

But then his family moved to Newcastle at the end of 2010 and he was accepted into the selective high school, Merewether High.

At first, he says, his energies were directed at “just keeping up” with the other students, but after a while his old passion for learning returned and with it came success.

“I actually started performing very well,” he said. “Throughout Years 11 and 12, I really enjoyed learning the new coursework, particularly in science.

“At the end of Year 11, I placed first in a Hunter-wide competition called the Colin Doyle Memorial prize.”

Peter’s renewed passion for learning was reflected in his HSC results in 2012. His best performance was in mathematics, earning him a score of 98 in Extension 1. His ATAR was 99.50.

“In my last two years of school, I was surrounded by people who knew exactly what they wanted to do, but I was never one of them,” Peter said. “So my university preferences were simply things I thought I might enjoy – Medicine, Actuarial studies, Advanced Mathematics, Vet science.

“I wasn’t accepted into Medicine, but was accepted into a combined Actuarial Studies and Advanced Mathematics degree.

“Looking to the future, I think I would like to lean towards the science and maths side of my degree, and then I am considering trying for postgraduate medicine.”

Peter said that he would also desperately like to study overseas, hopefully in England or the United States. But for now he says he is just trying to concentrate on his studies and taking a wait-and-see attitude towards going overseas.