In the midst of their Year 10 studies, students are faced with a number of decisions that will help to shape their future. Do they undertake the VCE or IB Diploma for Year 11 and 12? What subjects should they choose? These decisions need to be made with one eye on the future and what they hope to study beyond their secondary schooling. William Patston achieved Geelong Grammar School's top VCE score this year by removing all the noise from the subject selection process and choosing the subjects he liked the most. The rest took care of itself.

William achieved an ATAR (Australian Tertiary Admissions Rank) score of 97.55 when results were released on Friday 15 December. His study load consisted of Classical Studies, English, Global Politics, History (Revolutions), Literature and Studio Arts. "I chose the subjects I enjoy the most; the ones I was passionate about," William said. And that process of selection has been somewhat vindicated with today's results release.

That said, it didn't take an ATAR to confirm what a wonderful academic year William has had. He received the Classical Studies Prize, the Clyde Old Girls' Association Prize for English, the Cuthbertson, Sanderson and Isabel Henderson Essay Prize, the Global Politics Prize, and the Ramsay B Cook and Chesire Prize for Literature, as well as Colours for Academic Work and Visual Arts.

William started at the School in Year 10 as a day boarder in Allen House and lives on campus with his family. "I loved living on campus and having the facilities at my disposal," William said. "I was in the art room or the library most nights." It wasn't all work and no play for William in his final year at the School, as he was able to maintain his photography business on the side. "Having something outside of school that I am really interested in provided such a great outlet; both creatively and as a break from studying." Operating mainly in the live music space, he has photographed some of Australia's leading artists, including Chet Faker, The Jungle Giants and Last Dinosaurs.

As for what the future holds, William is still tossing-up between a gap year and starting a Film degree at Swinburne University in 2018.

This marks the third consecutive year that the School's top VCE performer has been a day boarder (following Rachel Waters in 2015 and Pippi Callan last year). 

In 2017, the School had 143 VCE candidates and 60 International Baccalaureate (IB) candidates (IB results will be released on January 4). 142 of 143 GGS candidates received their VCE with a median ATAR (Australian Tertiary Admissions Rank) of 72.7, which means the top half of our VCE students were in the top 27.3% of the State. 13 VCE students (9.4%) achieved an ATAR score of 90 or better (top 10%).