HSC is tough, even more so with cancer

A LISMORE student who has been battling a rare form of cancer was last week awarded a prestigious prize by the Board of Studies NSW.

Maia Jane Ryall from Trinity Catholic College received the Brother John Taylor Memorial Prize with of Grafton student Bethany-Kate Richmond.

Now in its 20th year, the prize is awarded to students who have overcome significant hardship to attain academic excellence in the HSC.

Ms Ryall was diagnosed with a rare form of cancer in September 2011.

Victor Dominello MP, Minister for Citizenship and Communities and Minister for Aboriginal Affairs; Adam Mayes, Head of House, Trinity Catholic College; Maia Jane Ryall; and Member for Lismore, Mr Thomas George MP.
Victor Dominello MP, Minister for Citizenship and Communities and Minister for Aboriginal Affairs; Adam Mayes, Head of House, Trinity Catholic College; Maia Jane Ryall; and Member for Lismore, Mr Thomas George MP.

She has since undergone radiotherapy, surgery and other treatments, with most of her medical treatment occurring in Brisbane.

This meant Ms Ryall had to complete the first term of her HSC by correspondence.

Head of house Adam Mayes said she was "without doubt the most dedicated and determined student" he had seen in 16 years of teaching.

Ms Richmond did her HSC when she was primary carer for her mother and while she was coping with her own serious health issues.

Board of Studies chief executive Carol Taylor said Ms Ryall and Ms Richmond received results in the highest band possible for at least two of their HSC courses.

"The HSC is a challenging course of study for all students, and to excel when the circumstances of your life already make extraordinary demands on you is truly inspirational," she said.

The Brother John Taylor Memorial Prize was established in 1993 by the Board of Studies NSW in memory of Brother John Taylor who was a teacher, principal and executive director of Catholic Education, as well as a long-standing and highly respected member of the Board of Studies NSW.


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