The Cathedral College graduate Isabella Arthur was hard at work packing mangoes on Saturday and had to wait until smoko to find out what ATAR score she had received.
The Cathedral College graduate Isabella Arthur was hard at work packing mangoes on Saturday and had to wait until smoko to find out what ATAR score she had received.

Student learns incredible ATAR score while packing mangoes

Isabella Arthur was halfway through her shift packing mangoes at Kabra when she learned her Australian Tertiary Admissions Rank.

The all-important scores were released on Saturday but Isabella’s was not there when she checked the portal at 4am before heading to MMM Mangoes and Avocados to start work at 5am.

“I checked my phone as soon as I went on smoko, which was 8.30am, and I got it,” she said.

“I’m very happy; I didn’t expect 99.15 so it was a pleasant surprise.

“I was aiming for a 97 or higher, that’s what I set my sights on - a score that was enough to get into medicine.

“I rang mum straight away, and I was like: ‘Wow, this is what I got’ and she was so happy.”

Isabella was delighted that her achievement made her parents Chrissy and Michael so proud because, she said, “they’ve done so much for me”.

The 17 year old said it was hard and hot work but she was enjoying her eight-week stint at the farm, which started in early December.

“Because of all of the border closures they don’t have many international workers this year, so the farm reached out to a few schools,” she said.

“The school sent the email out to students and I applied.

“Getting a bit of life experience is what I thought when I decided to do it.”

The Cathedral College dux Isabella Arthur is planning to study medicine after she achieved an ATAR of 99.15. Picture: Contributed
The Cathedral College dux Isabella Arthur is planning to study medicine after she achieved an ATAR of 99.15. Picture: Contributed

Isabella explained it was personal experience that ultimately decided her career direction.

The 17 year old this year experienced a few health issues which cemented her view people in regional areas should have the same access to medical services as their city counterparts.

Isabella is still deciding if she wants to specialise, possibly in pediatrics, but said general practice certainly held some appeal.

Isabella is the eldest of five siblings. She was born in Gladstone but her family soon moved to Longreach.

She did her primary schooling in the outback Queensland town. She boarded at TCC in Year 7 before her family relocated to Rockhampton the following year.

Isabella said she would always hold fond memories of her time at TCC.

“The people at TCC are amazing, they’re all so supportive and so friendly and it just made high school really enjoyable,” she said.

Isabella said university offers were expected in mid-January, and she was thinking she might be headed to James Cook University in Townsville or the University of New South Wales in Sydney.

Meanwhile, she is looking forward to having a few days off over Christmas.

“I’ll spend Christmas with family at home this year. I think we’re lucky to be able to do that given what’s happening in the UK and around the world,” she said.

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