23 May 2016
Dimboola Memorial Secondary College’s 2015 school captain and dux, Andrew King, has being awarded the Menzies Centenary Prize, worth $10,000, for his outstanding academic achievement and contribution to the Dimboola community.
A keen science and maths student, Andrew also got a lot out of his history subjects, especially those focusing on European history. He was also involved with extra-curricular activities from sporting events through to the school productions, managing the sound and lighting for four years and taking on the role of student director (along with two classmates) in Year 10.
“We didn’t have a teacher who could run the production that year, so we decided to do it ourselves. We were quite happy with how it went, but it was a huge amount of work,” Andrew said.
Andrew was also fortunate enough to travel overseas twice during high-school. The first time was on exchange to Germany for four weeks in Year 9, and the second was in Year 12 as a part of an initiative run by the Victorian state government for students to travel to Turkey and attend the Anzac Day dawn service in Gallipoli.
“There were over 600 applicants across the state and only 80 of us got to go. I applied aiming to gain a better understanding of the conditions under which our soldiers fought and the effect the war had on our communities.”
In preparation for the trip, Andrew worked alongside members of the Dimboola RSL to better understand how the war impacted Dimboola and to ensure that the school’s Avenue of Honour and Honour Roll reflected the contributions of local residents.
“Being involved in those preparations gave me a great insight into the impact of the war locally. It also gave me a different perspective to look at things when I was in Gallipoli. It's 13 months later and I still can’t think of words to describe the experience that do it justice,” he said.
At the end of the year, Andrew was accepted into Engineering at Monash University, where he is now studying while living on campus in Mannix College.
“I’m aiming to graduate as an electrical engineer – it has been an interest of mine for many years and where I want to end up. Ultimately I think I would like to be working as a manager in an engineering company,” he said.
He also hopes to continue being able to travel and put the German he studied throughout school to use by completing a semester at a German University during his degree.
“I’m incredibly honoured to receive the Menzies Centenary Prize,” he said. “The process of moving away from home to study after high school is not an easy one, and this scholarship will assist me greatly in being able to continue living in a College on campus.”
And as for how he’s finding life in Melbourne…
“It’s nice being in the city at the moment, but I’ll always be a bit of a country bloke.”