Ruby Burgess-Hoar (Yr12 EM) is the School's top VCE performer for 2020, achieving an ATAR score of 97.45 when results were released on Wednesday 30 December. The median ATAR for this year's VCE cohort is 72.75, up from 68.7 in 2019, while 16 students received an ATAR score of 90 or higher.

"I was very surprised, to say the least, as I wasn't expecting to go this well," Ruby reflected on receiving her results on Wednesday morning. Ruby studied English, Further Maths, Geography, Literature, Media Studies and Music Performance; subjects she has a passion for, not necessarily the ones that would scale up to the highest score. "When I was selecting subjects at the end of Year 10, my teachers told me to choose what I liked as that's what I put the most effort in to," she said.


From Coogee, south of Sydney, Ruby joined the School in Year 9 at Timbertop and quickly made her mark at the campus with her exceptional running ability, going on to represent the School in Cross Country and on the flat, over 400m and 800m, at APS level. An all-rounder, she represented the School in Athletics, Cross Country, Diving and Football. She was a member of the House Music-winning Elisabeth Murdoch ensemble this year and has previously showcased her vocal talent in a duet with Courtney Brown (EM'18) at the 2018 competition.

A number of 2019 leavers from Elisabeth Murdoch reflected on atmosphere of hard work and encouragement that exists within the House when it comes to study, and Ruby believes this certainly helped her to achieve such outstanding results in 2020. "We had some really great study areas within the house, and Ms Bower setup a few more outside, which I think helped to motivate each other." Ruby hopes to study a Bachelor of Communication at University of Technology Sydney. 

Briony Hoh (Yr12 A), from Williamstown, achieved an ATAR of 97.25 having studied Business Management, French, Literature, Studio Arts and Product Design & Technology. She is a self-described anomaly amongst her cohort as while the ATAR is a pleasant surprise and a credit to her hard work, the score itself is secondary to the individual grades as she plans to study fashion overseas. "I'm hoping to go overseas and study in New York or London and there is more grade pressure (rather than overall score requirements), which I guess filtered through to my overall score," she said.


Day boarding has been described previously as the best of both worlds however Briony believes, having spent 18 months as a boarder in The Hermitage and 18 months as a day boarder in Allen, she's "kind of got the best of both worlds". "I had the boarding experience, and I loved the social side of it, but I knew then (mid-2019) that I wanted to move overseas after Year 12 so it was nice to have so much time with family (as a day boarder) and also to reconnect with people in the day houses who I was friends with in Middle School. It was a really good experience and I liked the company from both houses."

Briony won the 2020 Design and Technology Prize and was one of two recipients of the Pop (Geoffrey) R. Fink Scholarship. She was our Visual Arts Captain in 2020, alongside Lawrence Yang (Yr12 Cu, pictured above), which in 2020 involved welcoming 1000's of visitors to our (virtual) exhibitions. "I was looking forward to being at the exhibitions in person and chatting to people about their work in person... but we made the best of it," Briony said. "It was a bit weird recording myself at home (for the welcome videos), having not been in school uniform for months and suddenly being their in my number ones, telling my family and my dogs to be quiet while I'm videoing myself." Briony was also Swimming vice captain in 2020.

Fergus Jacoby (Yr12 A), from Jan Juc, achieved an ATAR of 95.4. Fergus joined the School in Year 7 in Highton House before progressing to Timbertop and onto Allen House in Senior School. Reflecting on his time at the School, Fergus thinks it will be the bonds that have been formed and the time together that he will miss the most. "You're with your friends for 12 hours each day, and I feel like we had really good relationships within our Year 12 group," Fergus said. "We all got along really well." Fergus represented the School in Football, Rowing and Sailing and was a member of the 2019 Lorne 160 team (pictured below, on the right). He studied Business Management, Chemistry, English, Maths Methods (CAS), Specialist Maths and Physics. 


The highlights of the year included the House Swimming competition and a spirited table tennis competition, first within Allen before expanding to take on Fraser. Fergus hopes to study Commerce, or a double degree Commerce and Engineering, at the University of Melbourne.

136 Year 12 students received their VCE results on Wednesday 30 December, with the remaining 58 Year 12s from this year's cohort set to receive their IB results on Sunday 3 January.