Outstanding academic success

Written by: Meredith Wenta, Executive Principal Kirwan State High School | November 30, 2017

Our years at High School are formative in so many ways. This year, Kirwan High has seen the graduating class of 2017 achieve so much as a group, and we know they leave school with the inspiration to continue to be inquiring, optimistic, inclusive and aspirational citizens of the world.

Kirwan High graduates have been taught that they can make a change in the world, and by doing so will experience great satisfaction and happiness. As these young men and women enter adulthood, we know they will do so with passion, determination, optimism and to have a life with meaning. Two of these students have already achieved outstanding things during their education, and they are looking forward to a favourable and meaningful future.

School Captain, Emma Nolan is a humble young woman who has led a busy and full life while at school. At just 17 years old, she already has a remarkable achievement record. She has been recognised with a prestigious Peter Doherty Outstanding Senior STEM Student award and was selected to attend the Vice-Chancellor’s STEM Camp hosted by QUT. Emma’s consistency and dedication to her subjects has seen her achieve academic medals for excellence every year in high school.

To balance this, she was also an active member of the school’s Interact Club and was active in raising funds and awareness for The Cure Starts Now. Outside of school she is a Youth Ambassador for YWAM with a focus to improve the lives of people in remote PNG. For the past seven years she has volunteered as a St John’s Ambulance Cadet spending Friday nights, weekends and holidays as a first aid officer at public events. Since the age of 16 she has donated blood in a further commitment to the community.


 “Kirwan High graduates have been taught that they can make a change in the world, and by doing so will experience great satisfaction and happiness.”


This tremendous commitment to voluntary service was recognised when she achieved The Order of Australia Association Secondary Schools Citizenship Award. As a School Captain, Emma was an exceptional role model, demonstrating genuine care for her peers and representing the school with great pride. Emma serves the school and wider community while balancing her studies. This is an inspiration to all of us, a leader who will continue to have an impact on the world. Emma was also awarded the Matthew Lee Student of the Year Award for 2017.

Kayla Singleton is another remarkable young graduate. Kayla was top of the Year 11 and 12 cohort, recipient of the Peter Doherty Award for Outstanding Senior STEM Student and the impressive John Livingston 110% Award. Kayla’s outstanding academic success has been achieved with little fuss, quiet determination and hard work. With all the hours dedicated to study, Kayla has also committed to work experience and volunteering to develop her skills in medical research. She has participated in the 2017 National Youth Science Forum and was selected as one of 27 students worldwide to participate in the Science Summer School in Heidelberg, Germany.

Kayla intends to specialise in trauma medicine and neurology with a desire to make the world a better place. Once she completes her further studies in medicine she plans to give back to the community as a volunteer with Doctors without Borders. Her 110% effort to her study and the community is admired by teachers and peers.

“My community work hasn’t required any special skills or financial outlay but I was willing to spend a bit of time and give a little of myself. The benefits have been huge for everyone involved. No one is too young or old to lend a hand. Roll up your sleeves and help others.” – Emma Nolan

“I am hoping to return to Townsville after finishing my studies in medicine. I would like to offer specialist services in rural areas and believe working in rural areas offers many benefits.” – Kayla Singleton

Congratulations class of 2017

We look forward to celebrating your future successes in life while remembering with fondness your time at school. Stay in touch by following the Kirwan State High School Alumni Facebook page, or signing up for updates:

Past Students

• Graduates of 1983–2017 •

Connect to the past, celebrate
the future, and join us for an event in March 2018.

Success North Queensland | Connecting Cairns and Townsville