Vietnamese student wins scholarship thanks to Kalamunda SHS

Vietnamese student Marisa Duong

Vietnamese student Marisa Duong was recently awarded a Forrest Foundation Scholarship to help her achieve her PhD in Biochemistry from The University of Western Australia, after completing a Bachelor of Philosophy (Honours).

Marisa completed her studies from year 10 – year 12 at Kalamunda Senior High School where she was named Dux1 of year 12, which she believes really helped her throughout her studies at university.

"My high school years provided me with a solid educational background so I could go to university feeling confident," she said.

"My studies at Kalamunda SHS provided the background knowledge needed to prepare me for university studies. For example, thanks to the Maths courses at high school, I could understand the formulae in my Finance units better, and I could do calculations in Chemistry and Biochemistry quickly. The high school Chemistry and Human Biology courses were also directly relevant to my biomedical units. That’s not to mention the useful presentation skills that I learned from my high school English course."

"I enjoyed the Western Australian curriculum and the many activities that Kalamunda SHS organised. I also upheld the school values (resilience, community, respect, learning and pride) and felt a strong sense of belonging."

"I was extremely lucky to continue to have the unconditional support from my high school teachers. So here I am, at the end of my undergraduate degree, still feeling indescribably blessed to have studied at Kalamunda SHS, thanks to the kind support from my high school teachers."

"I firmly believe that without my high school teachers, I wouldn’t be here today. "

"I treasure many aspects of the living conditions here in Perth, including the fresh air, the safety and stability and the clean food supply. But what I treasure most has to be the people – the friends I have met here in Perth. I appreciate the warm welcome I received when I first arrived in Australia and also all my valued ongoing friendships I've had throughout my 8 years in Australia."

"Perth is a beautiful and peaceful city where I have been able to devote all my energy to this exciting educational journey."

1 In schools in the UK, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa and Iceland, dux is a modern title given to the highest-ranking student in academic or sporting achievement in each graduating year (

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