Annalise Skidmore didn’t let living in a different state stop her from applying for a Year 9 academic scholarship at Methodist Ladies’ College (MLC), in inner-east Melbourne.
With her hometown in Wagga Wagga, NSW, she loved travelling to Melbourne to visit family and quickly decided to apply.
“It was a last-minute decision,” she said.
It meant moving from home and becoming a part of the school’s boarding house, though that didn’t faze her.
“I was so excited to start here, I just wanted it to be the end of the summer holidays!” she laughed.
The college’s accessible location, with the bustling hub of Hawthorn on its doorstep, held appeal for Annalise, along with the facilities and extensive curriculum choices. The International Baccalaureate (IB) program, an alternative to VCE, was also a large drawcard, not having the availability of the program back home.
Senior school students are able to choose from more than 60 subjects across VCE, IB and VCE VET (vocational subjects where students concurrently gain an industry qualification), as one of the broadest curriculum offerings in the country.
Starting Year 12 this year, Annalise has been appointed the 2019 boarding house prefect and views her new leadership position as a great opportunity.
“I see myself as a big sister to everyone, being there to support. I remember the support I received from the older girls when I started and I want to do the same for others.”
Boarding has certainly helped her to prepare for her final year of school. “I’ve definitely become more independent and organised.
“Through the boarding house I’ve been able to do work experience and develop a lot of connections which has been really helpful.”
Keen to get into the field of biomedicine or science, Annalise is a motivated student with a plan. Her homegroup teacher is a researcher in chemistry, and with the college’s program of one-on-one coaching sessions in senior school, this has been invaluable to Annalise.
“We’ve had a lot of conversations about future opportunities and pathways, like information on the UMAT medical exam,” she said.
“A lot of the teachers are definitely experts in their fields; they’ve worked in the legal industry or been researchers in the field they’re teaching, which is why they’re so interesting to talk to. They make you realise you can do the things that you might want to, and they give you the confidence that you can!
“Being awarded the scholarship and coming to MLC gave me a whole world of new opportunities that I didn’t even know existed.
“At MLC, there’s no one type of girl; everyone seems to find their ‘thing’ and it’s really supportive.”