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Girls Grammar 2022 DUX winner Mirae Ries receives JCU Deans' Scholarship

Graduated Rockhampton Girls Grammar School student Mirae Ries.
Rockhampton Girls Grammar School's recent graduate and 2022 DUX recipient Mirae Ries has received a Deans' Scholarship to attend James Cook University in Townsville.

Rockhampton Girls Grammar School's 2022 DUX recipient Mirae Ries will be attending James Cook University [JCU] through its Deans' Scholarship program.

Mirae will study a Bachelor of Pharmacy (Honours) at JCU, commencing in February 2023, with a scholarship totaling $20,000 over the four-year course thanks to her hard-work and dedication in Year 12.

The scholarship is automatically offered to students who achieved an ATAR between 95 and 97, with Mirae scoring above 96.

When first opening the email delivering the scholarship news, Mirae initially thought "it was no big deal", but when she re-read it a couple of days later she realised just what an incredible opportunity was in front of her.

"It's pretty prestigious, I'm very happy about it," she said.

Mirae will also receive exclusive mentoring and guidance throughout her the first year of study, and be given additional group development and engagement opportunities.

How Mirae is planning for the next stage of her life

When Rockhampton Girls Grammar School spoke to Mirae on January 24, she was counting down the days until she started the next chapter of her life.

"I've got 17 days, I believe, until I'll be jumping in the car and driving up to Townsville - so I'm the process of moving all of my stuff.

"My dad's going to come with me but I'll be driving my car up. We've got family up there so he's going to stay with me for a week until I get settled in."

Mirae said while she was familiar with the area after visiting family there, she was unfamiliar with the university and so that aspect would all be "very new".

"My cousin was studying medicine up there, so I'll be able to get some tips and tricks from her and I think there's a few people from Girls Grammar going up there as well - so there'll be some familiar faces and I won't be completely alone."

Mirae said she loved studying Chemistry and Biology during her time at Rockhampton Girls Grammar, and has always had a particular interest in the areas of anatomy and physiology.

Dux of Rockhampton Girls Grammar School for 2022 Mirae Ries holds the Maud Bendall Cup at the Pilbeam Theatre on November 18.

"I really enjoy learning about how the body works, especially when we did Biology, (even though it's limited in Year 12) everything you learn - there's always something more to learn.

"This happens, but then why does that happen, and why does that happen - it's crazy!"

Mirae intends for her undergraduate degree to be a "stepping-stone" into the field medicine - walking in the shoes of her mother who is a GP.

While she isn't yet sure exactly what field in medicine she would like to specalise in, she said she had always like the idea of working with children as a Pediatrician or as an ENT.

Mirae shares fond memories from her time at Rockhampton Girls Grammar

Mirae said what she would miss the most about Girls Grammar was the teachers.

"They were always such great influences, always so nice, and pushed me to do the best that I could," she said.

Her Science teachers were the staff she felt most attached to - making special mention of Mr Gabirel Nader, Mrs Christie Dey, and Dr Sheena Tickner.

"Ms Miller-Waugh also helped me out with all the uni application processes and I was very grateful to have her help me.

"I feel that what's good about Girls Grammar is that you can build a really personal relationship with your teachers too, they're not just a teacher - they become your friends," she said.

"I feel that what's good about Girls Grammar is that you can build a really personal relationship with your teachers too, they're not just a teacher - they become your friends. - Mirae Ries

Mirae also said she had very fond memories of doing musicals and playing instruments at school.

"I have very fond memories of Miss Bond and Ms Dawes doing all the musicals and the concerts - they're some of my really prime memories."

Achieving balance an important next step for Girls Grammar Graduates

Mirae's goal for the immediate future included concentrating on building healthy lifestyle habits since she was about to embark on a journey away from family and friends.

"Exercise, healthy eating, and relationships have become really important to me.

"I like athletics and there's a nice track in Townsville so I might look at getting into that again, but I also might give boxing or MMA a go, as well as the daily gym session," she said.



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