Making waves in QUT's Elite Programs | Grace Alumni

News - Aug 02, 2021

Managing her studies, the school Captainship, and an impressive swimming career may sound daunting to some, but 2020 Alumni Madi Stibbe shows just what can be achieved with organisation, dedication, and a little bit of 'Grit.

Like many soon-to-be graduates, 2020 Grace Alumni Madi Stibbe entered her senior year feeling the need to succeed.

I was very nervous at the beginning of Year 12 because I knew every piece of assessment would count towards my ATAR. My main goal was to stay on top of my schoolwork and manage my time well so that I could achieve the best ATAR possible... I was hoping for somewhere in the high 90s, as my preferred uni course had a guaranteed entry threshold of 93.00.

Her cohort was already facing the many unknowns of a new ATAR system, in addition to the trials of COVID-induced remote learning. Yet Madi (like many of her peers) triumphantly rose to the challenge by not only reaching her ATAR goals, but also receiving Grace's Runner Up Dux and an impressive QUT scholarship.

I was fortunate enough to achieve the ATAR I needed to begin my Bachelor of Science (Physics) and Bachelor of Mathematics (Applied and Computational) at QUT. 

My family was very proud that I achieved Runner-Up Dux and got the ATAR that I needed to get into my preferred course at Uni. This is what I was aiming for and I am keen to see where my uni journey takes me over the next few years.

Like many Grace Alumni, Madi and her family have continued to keep the college updated on her progress post-graduation. In addition to her QUT scholarship, Madi has been welcomed into the university's Elite Athlete team and their School of Excellence.

The former saw her join 27 other QUT swimmers to attend the 2021 Unisport Nationals in Sydney. Here Madi managed to qualify for 3 finals, while her relay team brought home a Bronze medal. This was not only a big achievement for Madi but also the university, with QUT going on to win the Unisport Championship for the very first time. 

Though this may sound like a lot, Madi is no stranger to balancing a busy workload. When asked how she successfully navigated her sport, studies, and the school captainship during Year 12, Madi was keen to focus on good planning and organisation. 

Time management was a very important aspect of my study during Year 12. I found that getting into a routine early on (and continuing this through COVID-19) made it a lot easier to manage my weekly study. Planning out homework and assessment in advance in order to work out my priorities was also very helpful. 

This was also echoed by Trish Barone (Madi's GEL teacher and Specialist Maths teacher), who agreed that her work ethic played a major role in helping her to achieve her goals both in the pool and in the classroom. 

Madi displayed an exceptional attitude towards anything that she put her mind to. In all areas, she was diligent and highly motivated, resulting in consistently achieving at a very successful level in all of her subjects at school. She was committed to putting in the time and effort required to achieve her best possible result in all areas. 

She was very organised and goal-orientated and was able to work well in both team situations and independently. As well as her outstanding academic record, Madi was able to maintain a very rigorous and demanding training schedule which saw her excel in her sport of choice -  swimming. 

It is clear that our former captain has a bright future ahead of her. When reflecting on her immediate aspirations, Madi's are firmly fixed on expanding her passion for Science and Mathematics. 

I am enrolled in a 4-year course, so hopefully in 5 years’ time I will have completed my Bachelor of Science and Bachelor of Mathematics. It is quite likely that I will still be at uni undertaking some form of postgraduate study (Masters or PhD).

This is not surprising to some of the Grace staff who knew her best. As her GEL teacher, Ms Barone played an active role in supporting Madi from Year 8 through to Year 12. For her, Madi was and still is an individual that other Grace students could look up to. 

Madi is a genuine, encouraging and dedicated young lady. It is no surprise to hear that she is doing exceptionally well, not only in the academic arena, but also continuing to excel in the swimming pool as well.

As College Captain, Madi was a servant leader who led by example, displaying all qualities one would wish to see demonstrated to younger students.

Though a lot may have changed for Madi from her first days in Ms Barone's class, but her Grace Days are still a fresh and fond memory. 

Graduation and formal were definitely the main highlights of the year for me. It was an amazing feeling being able to celebrate the journey we’d gone through over the past 13 years of school! Even though we had to go through COVID-19, we all made the most of our final year and were fortunate enough to participate fully in all of our celebratory end of year events.

To see updates from Madi and other Grace Alumni, follow our Grace Lutheran College Instagram and Facebook accounts. 

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