Conquering during COVID - a reflection of excellence as a team for our world prepared students

Wednesday, 17 Feb 2021

The class of 2020 showed that they were able to overcome significant challenges through outstanding academic and wellbeing support during what will go down as a momentous event in education due to COVID-19. Our students continually lead the region, again we were the best ranked school on the Coffs Coast by a significant margin. Our staff led by their Heads of Faculty have initiated the most innovative educational programs with Kaizen electives from Year 5 to 8 and World Options electives in Years 9 and 10. These provide structured high potential and gifted programs where students are not withdrawn from class but guided within our transformational elective structure that continues all the way through to Accelerated subjects and early completion of HSC courses for our dedicated learners. It is significant to note that parents on the North Coast are provided with options for education that challenges metropolitan offerings.

Our extension subjects and accelerated offerings performed incredibly well, with 41 E4 and E3 results from a cohort of 78. The Pastoral team provided the much needed support for our students with Year Coordinator Mr Mick Klipin and Director of Student Wellbeing Mrs Sue O’Connor providing strength and guidance for the students’ wellness on their journeys to success, along with their Wellbeing team including two school counsellors and a third coming in 2021. Our ten School Captains (Leadership, Academic, The Arts, Sporting, Service) and six House Captains led the team and we watched in admiration as they all supported their peers throughout their journey. So much was raised for worthy charities, so much time dedicated to helping those in need, and we couldn’t be more proud of our 2020 Alumni and we will continue to watch their achievements into the future. They are truly world prepared.

From a cohort of 78 students who completed their HSC this year:

  • Top performing school on the Coffs Coast.
  • State ranking of 189, in the top 200 schools again - 100 places above the nearest school on the Coffs Coast.
  • Dux of the year, Megan Ussher 97.45 with five other students close in the 95-97 range.
  • At least 12 with an ATAR over 90 out of a cohort of only 78, 15% of the cohort.
  • Extension subjects leading the region with 10 x E4 and 29 x E3 results.
  • 92% of students received at least one Band 4 or above.
  • 52 Band 6 or Notional Band 6/E4 results from the 2020 graduate cohort.
  • 22 Band 5, 6, or E3/E4 results from the Year 11 Accelerated (2021 graduate) cohort.
  • 126 Band 5, notional and E3 results with 62% of learners achieving at least one Band 5 or 6 result, from the 2020 graduate cohort.
  • Over 85% of the cohort with Early Entry offers for University before HSC results were even released.
  • 6 Student Based Apprenticeships, 4 Headstart SCU course completions (early entry with semester course University credit), 4 full-time apprenticeships commenced, 8 external TAFE VET students 
  • All graduates met for individually tailor career appointments, helping to convert our fantastic 85% early entry University offers and multiple scholarships through dedicated time and exposure to what is available.


  • Visual Arts - ARTEXPRESS Nomination- Ebony Casagrande “Release”
  • Design Technology - InTech and Shape Nomination - Charlie Alderman
  • Music - ENCORE Nomination - Sam Goodwin, Stephen Chang
  • Textiles - Shape and Texstyle Nomination -Sarah Fahey
  • Drama - OnStage Nominations for individual performances - Jonah Bedford, Meg Denman, Emily Pavey and Mitchell Hodges.


  • ANU Scholarship - Jessie Woodward
  • ANU Scholarship - Lucy Garner
  • University Scholarship - Lucy Alkemade
  • UNE Vice-Chancellor's High Achievement Prize - Emily Meacham
  • UNE Vice-Chancellor's High Achievement Prize - Kenya Whelan
  • University of Newcastle Scholarship - Isabelle Watson
  • SCU Vice-Chancellor’s Scholarship - Bianca De Jong

ATAR Honour Board

2020 had an extremely academically successful cohort. 

This was also demonstrated by our 12 students who achieved an ATAR of over 90. This is 15% of Year 12. Congratulations Christian Albina, Lucy Alkemade, Angus Longworth Browne, Stephen Chang, Lucy Garner, Samuel Goodwin, Emily Meachan, Megan Ussher 97.45 (Dux 2020), Luke Walker, Isabelle Watson, Samuel Wilson, Jessica Woodward.

BDC again had a significant number of students on the distinguished achievers’ list (Band 6 or E4). A Band 6 is a score between 90-100%. Five Band 6’s (one Notional Band 6 from Mathematics Extension 2) were achieved by Angus Longworth-Browne. 


Four Band 6 or equivalent (E4 or notional Band 6) were achieved by Stephen Chang (plus 2x Band 5),  Emily Meacham (plus 1x Band 5) and Megan Ussher (plus 1x E3 and 1x Band 5). 


Three Band 6 or equivalent were achieved by Christian Albina (plus 1x Band 5), Ebony Casagrande (plus 2x Band 5), Luke Walker (plus 3x Band 5) and Jessie Woodward (plus 2x Band 5). 


Two Band 6’s or equivalent were achieved by Charlie Alderman (plus 2x E3 and 1x Band 5), Meg Denman (plus 1x Band 5), Lucy Garner (plus 2x E3 and 2x Band 5), Tom O’Dell (plus 2x E3), Sam Wilson (plus 1x E3 and 2x Band 5). 


One Band 6 was achieved by Anthony Abela (plus 1x Band 5), Cassandra Bamford, Edward Berger (plus 1x E3 and 3x Band 5), Sarah Fahey (plus 1x Band 5), Alexis Gunther (plus 1x E3 and 2x Band 5), Jake Kramer, Freya Lamont (plus 3x Band 5), Imogen Leary (plus 1x Band 5), Alli Martin (plus 1x Band 5), Charlie O’Grady (plus 1x E3 and 2x band 5), Isabelle Watson (plus 4x Band 5).

Other high achievers included Lucy Alkemade with 6x Band 5 and 1x E3, Samuel Goodwin with 5x Band 5 and 1x E3, Kyle Lang with 3x Band 5 and 2x E3, Jonah Bedford with 5x Band 5, Georgia Hansard with 4x Band 5 and 2x E3, Alcohol Jok with 4x Band 5 and 1x E3, Asra Salman with 3x Band 5 and 1x E3, Samuel Parkes with 3x Band 5, Kaitlyn Lastavec with 4x Band 5, Emily Pavey. Kate Murray, Shannon Stafford and Saskia Brown with 2x Band 5 results, Jordan Hill with 2x E3, Bailey Kapukaya with 1x E3. Charlotte Bell, Brianna Malouf, Rachel Neumann, Colby Noble, Tess Parker-Reynolds, Luke Peadon, Lily-Rose Powell, Lillian Redmond, Denver Petersen and Mitchelle Hodges with 1x Band 5.


Furthermore, our Accelerated students in Year 11 had some fantastic achievements in the Mathematics and Mathematics Extension 1 high potential and gifted pathway, as well as Business Studies Studies of Religion 2, and Japanese Accelerated. Madeline Howard and Mitchell Maloney received both E4 and Band 6 in Mathematics and Mathematics Extension 1, while Mia Benson achieved a Band 6 in Japanese. Bailey Carson, Natasha Watson-Merritt and Xanthe Rose all achieved a Band 5 and E3 in Mathematics and Maths Extension 1. Lauren De Waal achieved two Band 5 results, while one Band 5 was achieved by Maxyn Dorz, Lachlan Eichman, Natalie Giri, Sarah O’Connor, Xanthe Rose, Ellie Spain, Hasan Salman, and Michael Spinoglio.

BDC’s innovative, passionate, highly skilled, and dedicated staff have worked relentlessly both face-to-face and online throughout the Year 12’s journey, to provide the students with the best learning environment and skills for success in not only the HSC exams but more importantly in their professional life beyond. Our BDC Alumni continue to set new heights around the world, from doctors, lawyers, academics and highly successful business people. We consistently celebrate punching above our weight statewide and putting academia and leadership on the map for the Coffs Coast. What an exciting future for these Coffs Coast graduates.

'The BDC community is immensely proud of our 2020 graduates and accelerated students. They have grown as individuals; they have grown as a team, and they have developed into future leaders. These graduates are now prepared for our ever-changing world. They leave our college grounds next year, but they join our BDC Alumni network forever, where we continue to stay in contact and celebrate the achievements of our students as they break ground locally, nationally, and internationally. The whole of the Coffs Coast can be proud of these Bishop Druitt College graduates.' stated Craig Verbruggen, Director of Learning and Teaching.

In a year like we have had in 2020, we could not be more proud of the grit, determination, persistence, and achievement of our graduates and accelerated students. They are Alumni for life and will improve the world we live in for the coming generations.