Rewarded for hard work
DUX of Byron Bay High School, Keaton Buhagiar is at the end of what seemed like 12 long years of school.
He is one of the school's many Aboriginal students and like most Year 12's Keaton is reluctant to talk about his achievements, including his ATAR of 96.9.
The young Wiradjuri man from Narrandera lives here in Arakwal country and is off to Sydney next year looking to study medicine.
"It was very exciting to be named Dux of the school,” Keaton said.
"I am very proud of the achievements of everyone in my year and it's a great reward for me personally to know that all my efforts have paid off.
"Byron Bay High School teachers and all the staff were so supportive - they always go the extra mile for all us students.
"I really loved being a part of my cohort of students and our teachers always put in that little extra to help us achieve.
"I am also really grateful to some of my past teachers who gave me extra after-school tutoring.
"I really hope to be a good role model for other indigenous students and the indigenous community
Keaton is following in the footsteps of his sister Jessica, also a Byron High School graduate, who received the Nanga Mai Award for the Highest Achieving Aboriginal student in New South Wales in the 2016 Higher School Certificate.
Byron Bay High School Principal, Janine Marcus congratulated staff, students and parents, "for the passion and dedication you bring to providing excellent teaching and learning environments in which all students can achieve their personal best.
"My message in 2018 has been to strive for your personal best and do not be afraid or embarrassed to demonstrate what you can do,” Ms Marcus said.
Ms Marcus said she was also proud to announce that Byron High School and Bangalow Public Schools have been awarded a Remote Rural grant for collaborative excellence.