At just sixteen, Dana Song has already achieved a first in an HSC course.
The James Ruse Agricultural High School was one of 10 students from the Parramatta area — and three from her school — recognised for coming first in their HSC course at a ceremony at Australian Technology Park, Redfern, in December.
'First in Course' refers to students who come first in an HSC course, provided their result is also in the top band.
Dana is also only in year 11 and the first to tell you she really stepped out of her comfort zone to complete agriculture as a course.
"I like shopping, dancing," Dana, said.
But it turned out agriculture could be just as entertaining.
"Yarding the sheep, making vegetable plots, taking fresh produce home — it was all fun," Dana said.
She encourages everyone to try new things.
"Make the most of it," she said. "Have fun."
Another high achiever was Fatma Abumustafa, who was one of only three students to receive a First in Course Award for more than one course.
She received hers for topping Arabic continuers and Arabic extension, which she completed through the Saturday School of Community Languages/Arthur Phillip High School in Parramatta.
Education Minister Adrian Piccoli presented certificates of recognition to 121 students in 112 courses. More than 70,000 students sat their HSC this year.