Busselton student George Malone who was offered a place at Murdoch University after successfully passing an assisted access program has finished top of his class.
Mr Malone landed a chance to study at Murdoch after completing the free, 14 week OnTrack enabling program in 2015.
The program provides alternative entry pathways into undergraduate study and promotes educational aspiration among underrepresented groups in the university system.
The majority of people in access programs identify as belonging to an equity group such as Indigenous Australians, people from low socio-economic backgrounds or who lived in rural or isolated areas.
They might also live with a disability, have a non-English speaking backgrounds or have experienced educational disruption during their school years.
Mr Malone finished his first year studying a Bachelor of Science in Mathematics and Statistics, achieving outstanding marks to win the inaugural Marian Kemp Memorial Prize in Mathematics.
He achieved five high distinctions and one distinction in the six units he took in 2016 and was presented with the award at a recent student prize night for high achievers at Murdoch.
Mr Malone said the OnTrack program was invaluable enabling him to study at a higher level, and to become acclimatised to city life and studying at university.
“It helped to put me on the path to success and I am delighted to receive this award for my grades,” he said.
“It is an excellent indicator of my personal progress throughout schooling and university, and highlights the respect and appreciation for students dedicated to the study of mathematics.”
Mr Malone is also a Peer Assisted Study Sessions leader, helping fellow students to succeed in challenging subjects, and volunteers as a tutor in the mathematics clinic.
In addition, Mr Malone will begin tutoring online next semester to assist rural students in mathematics from a similar background to himself.
“In the future. I am intending to complete postgraduate studies, namely honours and a PhD, and hoping to continue tutoring at Murdoch,” he said.
The Marian Kemp Memorial Prize in Mathematics, worth $250, will be awarded annually for the best academic achievement in the subject by a student who has completed an enabling program.