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Student achievements and excellence

2017 Reports

Student achievements and excellence

Students at Cairns High achieve at the highest levels. This page captures the achievements and illustrates the breadth and depth of talen in our young people.
The Senior Netball Team who were selected and participated in the 2017 Vicki Wilson Cup State Finals held on the Gold Coast in Week 1 of Term 4. The team qualified for the State Finals. Coach (Mrs Whelan) is extremely proud of the effort and sportsmanship that was displayed, each player contributed on and off the court and represented Cairns State High School with pride.

Congratulations to Rowan McNab in Year 12, finalist in the Aerospace Awards 2017
TAE Aerospace Young Innovators Award – Sponsored by TAE Aerospace AND Royal Aeronautical Society Award – Sponsored by the Royal Aeronautical Society!


Premier announces funding for a new hall and upgrades as an election commitment:


Students in Year 12 Certificate II Visual Arts have been working towards an Exhibition and saleable items final unit. Mr Zilm got a lucky first look at the products on Friday and couldn’t stop himself from purchasing some of the incredible pieces. The students will display them at the front office (for sale) from this week!
29 Oct
Scottish Rugby League team were lucky enough to meet some the finest from Cairns High this week.


27 Oct

Congratulations to our Year 12 QATSIF students who were presented with certificates to acknowledge their hard work and achievements in 2017. Cairns State High School supports a range of students to access the necessary resources to achieve the outcomes planned for.
QATSIF was created to give Queensland's Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander families increased educational choices and life opportunities. It is an independent, not-for-profit trust managed by The Public Trustee of Queensland and operates through a small Secretariat. The funds used by QATSIF for its programs and activities are drawn from the interest earned on the original capital provided to The Public Trustee to establish the Trust. Built from the labour of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Queenslanders under now-repealed laws, preserving this capital means the toil of previous generations will have a direct benefit to the generations that follow. In this way, QATSIF will always stand as a permanent and positive legacy for the future.


National Bandanna Day is CanTeen’s largest fundraiser and aims to raise $1.3 million this year to support young people living with cancer. Every year, another 23,000 young people (63 a day) have to deal with the challenge of cancer. And we get it. Just when life should be full of possibilities, cancer crashes into a young person’s world and shatters everything. CanTeen is the game changer.
Year 8 students have really shown their support and helped raise funds for young people when cancer crashes into their world by selling bandanas all week.
It was great to see students from all year levels getting behind the initiative and supporting the Year 8 leaders.
Year 7&8 students from all over the region including Cairns High prepared and served High Tea at the Pullman as part of State Education Week.


Congratulations and thank you to:
All students and teachers involved in this year’s CAD Wearable Art Parade. The 2017 Winners are: o Supernatural - Winner: Seraphina Hossen yr 8, Highly Commended: Yoovin Kim and Ella Monk yr 8
o Microcosmos - Winner: Kristy Fava yr8, Highly Commended: Madison Browne yr11
o 100 - Winner: Rosalie Wolff yr 8, Highly Commended: Akane Whiley yr 11
o Revolution - Winner: Josephine Farrell yr 11, Highly Commended: Angelique Yang yr9
o Jude Marsland Supreme Designer 2017 - Seraphina Hossen
o The Angela Toppin Most Outstanding Junior - Sophia Doyle, Luka Tonegawa and Tara Walker yr 9
o Art staff encouragement award - Kate Charlton-Henderen yr 12
• Amy Vowles , Year 12 has been successful at the BLA awards for visual art. She received 2 BLA Visual art bursaries to assist in her tertiary studies next year. The OXLADES Bursary and REACH Bursary (total $1000), it is a fantastic recognition of her abilities and efforts this year. Amy is a very worthy recipient of the awards.
• Rebecca Breeze (10) has been selected for the Curious Minds Program. Rebecca will will be one of 60 female secondary students coming together for an exciting program of learning in biology, chemistry, Earth and environmental science, engineering, informatics, mathematics and physics. She will hear talks from prominent women in STEM, complete lab work, enjoy excursions.


Brian Quinn, Yr11 Japanese student, has received a four-week scholarship program to Japan from AJS (Australia Japan Society FNQ). 
This is a locally-sponsored program awarded to two students to two sister cities of Cairns (Oyama city and Minami town). Brian will be representing as an ambassador of Cairns from December 2017 to January 2018.


Student work on display until 28 September at Tank 4.
We are all very proud of the 15 student entries in the biggest regional student exhibition in Queensland.
* Marushka Kafka received the TANKS curator’s award – she will have the opportunity to have a solo exhibition at Tanks within 12 months of leaving school as well as a TAFE creative arts training award.
* Jolene Passi received the ERGON encouragement award
* Kelsie Kearsley received an ERGON encouragement award and a PAEA Encouragement award
* Emily Benck received a CELL Artspace award
* Camille Ramos received a PAEA Encouragement award
* Sienna Schuele received an ERGON encouragement award
* Rhianna Pownall received three awards:  a PAEA Encouragement award, CELL Artspace and ERGON encouragement award
ICAS Writing results 2017

High Distinction 
Year 7 - Ava Bradley, Annie Logan and Charlotte Thamm


Year 8 - Esther Atkins


Distinction 
Year 8 - Poppy Mackenzie, Jesleen Patel, Jemma Paton, Isabella Perera and Alistair Wills,
Year 9 - Shaun Thomas
Year 10 - Jayda Franks and Ruby Rainbird


Credit 


Year 7 - Ariel Franks, Luke Hammer, Mari Hardes, Lilli Hodge, Serah Le Hossen, Coco Sakamoto,
Year 8, Sarisha Alwis, Ella Cross, Ebony Le Cong,
Year 9, Hannah Craven, Sophia Doyle, Malachy Gilmore, Susie Kuypers, Marco Lui, CJ Marshall, Taylor-Anne Marshall, Sacha Rechardt, Kami Schowalter,
Year 10, Anjali Barnes, Rebekah Blake, Kayleigh Demosthemis, Rylee Giles, Niko Khimushina and Emma Lane.

Amazing feats of talent continue… 
I was very privileged to travel with the 60 students from Cairns State High Chorale to Brisbane to compete in the Queensland Grand Final of Creative Generations Voice (Choral Fanfare) – and Cairns High won! I am so impressed by the dedication of Cairns High students in the whole range of pursuits. The excellence this particular group displayed on stage, in the rehearsal rooms and toward each other was simply exemplary.
Cairns State High’s performance was stand out. From the moment the students walked on to stage, took their positions, and produced the most amazing sounds… I don’t think anyone could take their eyes off them. Congratulations to Ms Lauren Hannay our Director of Choral music and her expert way of working with students. We all value your amazing talents and passion and I know the parents, staff and students of the school join me in thanking Lauren for her dedication and commitment to Cairns High. Thank you also to Director of Music, Mrs Lizanne Smith and music teacher, Ms Trish Allan for all her support.
What made the day a great day for Cairns was that Edge Hill State School had also travelled for the Primary Schools final held in the afternoon and they won too! Now there really are two great reasons for the whole city to celebrate.
The Chorale also performed in 1 William Street (the new Queensland Ministerial offices) as Cairns High’s Centenary gift to the city of Brisbane.
More congratulations this week to…
• Our chess team which came in third place in the local championships
• All the talented athletes who represented FNQ recently and those who made it through to Nationals.
• Science week students for their engagement in some great activities!
• The entrants of the Centenary Trade Show of Innovation did such a terrific job, the judges could not name a winner on the day and had to take additional time to consider the entrants.
• The sensational cast, crew, prop designers, singing, acting and dancing coaches, producers, directors and parents who came together to deliver a phenomenal performance that was “practically perfect in every way”.
• Today, after their four week stay with us, we farewell our 21 visiting students and two teachers from our sister school, Convitto Nazionale Paolo Diacono, in Cividale Italy. Huge thanks to all the host families who have enabled a wonderful FNQ and inter-cultural experience, and to the staff who’ve welcomed them into their classrooms and supervised them on excursions. Our Year 11 IB students studying Italian now look forward to their reciprocal visit to Cividale in November-December.
• Year 11 and 12 QETA Student Economics Competition: 2 Distinctions (Nathan Richardson and Krystal Laifoo) and 12 Credits. Good effort students.
• All students who participated in the Australian Geography Competition:4 High Distinctions, 14 Distinction’s, and 30 Credits.
• Cooper Bell, in Year 7, has qualified for the State Championships for 3000m, 1500m and 800m track events, after coming 1st at the Peninsula tryouts this week and 3rd in 800m.
• Mr Neville Stibbs, Ms Lyn Watt and supporting Business and Digital Technologies teachers for organising local entrepreneurial mentors for our future innovators who presented their business concepts, including apps, at the Centenary Trade Show of Innovations.
• The two teams who represented our school at the Regional Chess Tournament the second largest school chess tournament in the state. Our Premier team ended up coming third!! Ryota Kusumoto won the Table premier division with a perfect result. He has been invited to represent FNQ at the state championships.
• CSIRO Stem in Schools Space Webinar presenters and the QIMR Berghoffer lecturers – these are very insightful opportunities for students.
• To Rubin Hong, Jesleen Patel and Charlotte Thamm who after leading most of the way through the Regional Maths quiz championships ended with a respectable 2nd place. These students are very clever and deserve much acknowledgement for this exceptional feat.
11 August
Mary Poppins: More than just a spoonful of sugar
This week’s brilliant performances of Mary Poppins showed the talent of Cairns High students again! I attended the matinee today and will be at the show tonight so I get to see both casts of the show. (Many of the major roles have two lead performers.)

I thank Michael Lee Porter for taking time from work and his busy schedule to take on the role of Director of the production. We were very fortunate to have him volunteer his time to come in and make this production a reality especially when we were plagued with issues and logistical problems.

I really have to commend the students for their commitment and talent. Every day another layer of amazing skill and talent is revealed as another opportunity for young people to shine presents itself. I have seen students squeezing in school work, sport, rehearsals and then some family life. Musicals are a big commitment and take a huge slab of time. But what a result! I am very proud of our kids and they should be proud of each other and themselves. And it’s not just those you see on stage. It also extends to those who work in the technical support; who assist with getting things organised and being great mates and supportive for their performing friends. I congratulate all of the performers, crew, family and supporters on a fantastic production. Thank you to parents and friends for being involved in painting sets and helping in any way. We very much value your support too.

We all know the most valuable resource a school can have is the staff of the school – and how blessed are we at Cairns High to have passionate and committed teachers and support staff? Weekends, night times – all the time really – we have had staff sewing costumes, buying materials, painting, constructing sets, making props, choreographing, rehearsing songs, planning, managing budgets, marketing, selling tickets, front of house at productions and communicating with all and sundry, coordinating, encouraging, and generally being awesome.

Language speaking competition:

Japanese: Year 11 Non background speakers – Ngoc Huyhn - 1st, Keisha Wise – 3rd, Yr 10/11/12 background speakers – Emma Lane – 1st,Chisa Hasegawa – 2nd and Akane Whiley – 3rd. Yr 8/9 background speakers – Mira Brooke – 1st, Caitlyn Hambrook – 2nd, Ai Hasegawa – 3rd. Yr 7 non background speakers – Yein Chung – 3rd, Yr 8 non background speakers – Jesleen Patel – 1st. Jesleen was also awarded the JCU scholarship special prize (most points scored in year 8 competition).

Italian: Yr 12: James Humphris – 3rd, Yr 11: Pranay Gulati- 1st place, Jeff Chen –3rd place. Sarina Wittgens and Brydie Caddick-King – merit. Yr 10: Isabella Mahutariki - merit. Yr 9: Chantel Sariman – 3rd place, Sophia Doyle, Kassidy Valentine, Jayda Cetinich – merit.Yr 8: Jemma Paton – 1st place, Rosalie Wolff – 2nd place, Jessica Jensen and James Maron – merit. Yr 7 Beginners: Poppy Cahill – 1st place, Lilly O’Rourke – 2nd place, Grace Ashby – 3rd place, Daneeka Valentine and Giorgia Crisci – merit.

Chinese: Ngoc Hyunn: 1st place: Year 11. (also won the trophy from Cairns and District Chinese Association for the best senior student) . Bridget Kim: 2nd place: Year 11. Saffron Lilly-Geyle: 1st place: Year 9. Kalia Vue: 3rd place: Year 9. Esther Kim - 1st place: Year 8. (was also awarded a prize from JCU for the most points awarded to a student on the day!). Regina Um: 2nd place: Year 8. Nevi Wurster: 2nd place: Year 7,Continuing Speaker. Taj See-Kee: 3rd place: Year 7, Beginning Speaker. Nina Cowley-Mousinho: merit, Year 8.


4 August

  • I am so impressed with the dedication of the students and staff involved in the 2017 Musical, Mary Poppins. The production values are incredible - singing, dancing, costumes and sets are looking incredible.Year 11 Art excursion
  • Congratulations to students and staff who have been participants in the ‘We are Cairns’ exhibition at the Tanks with artist Rick Beresford.


  • NAIDOC was celebrated this week in the school.
  • Our Italian Sister school visit has taken such energy to perfect and I wish thank the staff and students involved in hosting and playing the role of buddy.
  • ICAS English has given students a great opportunity to extend their skills in their favourite subject.
  • We have had several study tours come to visit and what has impressed me is the willingness of Cairns High students (and staff) to open their homes to host visitors. Many thanks to all.

STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics)

  • QAMT Year 7&8 Maths Quiz saw our team come in a close second.
    Australian National Chemistry Quiz
  • BLA business management breakfast was this morning and several students attended.
  • I was also impressed with students in Year 11 who have undertaken enterprise projects and launched their businesses this week.
    Students attended a STEM breakfast hosted by CQU in their city campus today.


  • 2018 Year 9 and 10 Subject selection evening was well-attended and I was pleased to see so many people in attendance.
  • Strength Program for Year 10 boys commenced this week and small groups took part in workshops run by our fantastic teachers who provide positive male role modelling through discussion as well.
  • The students who received straight ‘A’ grades in Semester One reports came along to an afternoon tea and received their Honours List badge.
    Students in Year 10, 11 and 12 completed their interviews to review progress and support as a follow up of the Semester One reports. A great initiative with many benefits for the next semester.
  • Heads of Department this week reported to me and each other about their faculty performance in Semester One. Our target is 62% of students to achieve ‘A’ and ‘B’ grades and 85% ‘A’ to ‘C’ grades as a minimum level of achievement for a class.


  • Hockey Boys Gala Day
  • Cricket team hit the opposition teams for a six and progress now to the next level of the competition.


  • All students who participated in the Australian Geography Competition: 4 High Distinctions, 14 Distinctions, and 30 Credits.
  • 2 August: The CSHS senior cricket team swept their pool by handily defeating St Andrews and Mossman SHS. The team was led by Kostas, and his aggressive batting and captaincy. Cairns State High plays fire-brand cricket. Kostas, Mitchell and Lochlan scored many runs and Stirling managed a strike rate of 300! Charlie was a stand out fast bowler, supported by Lochlan, Jaydon and Kostas.
    Kostas, Charlie, Lochlan, Mitchell, Jaydon, Stirling, Finlay, Samuel, Alistair, Henry, Ashton, Kai are only headed onwards and upwards with Bulldogs cricket! Special thank you also to Coach Thomas Smith.
  • July 31: Grace, Year 12 student, is achieving remarkably with her work with the Suns AFL Development squad. Cairns High is very proud of her achievements to date and look forward to seeing her develop further into the sport.
  • July 30: The Year 11 Modern History students visited the Cairns Museum Friday as part of their 'Everyday Australian – Extraordinary Histories' unit.  Students toured the Cairns museum and engaged with the interactive displays before completing a historic scavenger hunt through the museum to learn more about our local history.
  • August 4-22 Numerous members of the Cairns High community including some Dance and Visual Arts students, teachers, Clontarf Academy etc who proudly represented in this exhibition. Regular Ricks' support of students and teachers at Cairns High this year has been fantastic.
  • July 26: Year 11 Urban Geography excursion last Thursday visited the display homes in Edmonton, stopping also at Sugar World to appreciate use of green spaces, Gordonvale to do field sketching of acreage, Forest Gardens to see medium density housing and to the new NovaCity complex which is to be built opposite Cairns Central.
  • July 22: Formal
  • Cairns Show stand by the P&C
  • July 14: Year 11 & 12 Art classes attended a Cairns Indigenous Art Fair exhibition at Cairns Regional Gallery. We were fortunate enough to spend time with Artists Daniel Boyd and Greg Semu as well as curators of the exhibition 'Lei it on'. It was extra special for us to spend time with Daniel as he is a past Cairns High student!


  • Mia Walsh and Che selected as two of the five ‘The Streets Mulumulung International Scholars’ for 2017.
  • Alex Davies, Callum Elder & Billy Holiday representing Peninsula, became State Champions at the 15/U State Schools Football Tournament at Trinity Beach.
  • Cairns High Boys hockey team were runners up for the region at the Boys’ Hockey Gala day.  They were undefeated all day until the grand final where they lost 3-2 to Redlynch SC.  It was a senior competition and we had 8 boys in year 7 or 8 in our starting line-up.  Great signs for the future!
  • James Humphris won the studitalia prize. James will be travelling to Italy for 1 month in November with 3 other QLD high school students. Congratulations also to Hunter Browne and Queisha Malumo who were short listed for interviews.
  • Our school girls hockey team did us proud again at the regional hockey gala day and finished runners up.
  • Congratulations to the 2017 Maths quiz team of Rubin Hong, Luke Hammer, Charlotte Thamm and supported by Jesleen Patel, who were made it to the Regional Final and came second against Innisfail and Tablelands teams.
  • 14 July: Digital Art, Film, IB Film and COE Film students worked with Steve Guttormsen from Bond University. Steve is the Teaching Support Manager for the Faculty of Society and Design Technology. Students extended their knowledge and skills on moving image psychology, and film production design and planning and even had a hands-on experience with a Microsoft HoloLens (mixed reality computer/smart glasses)!!
  • Congratulations to the Australian U14 Futsal Mini Worldcup team on 3rd place! Cairns High's Daniel accepted the trophy as captain of the team.
  • 12 July: A fun day for Year 9 boys and girls, but certainly some interesting and important topics were discussed. Including presentations and activities surrounding concepts such as bullying, body image, social media, etiquette, consent, feelings, peer pressure and team building.
  • 10 July: The Year 9 Rugby League class was pretty impressed with their visitor today! It was great to have David Westley (formerly Cairns High, Paramatta Eels and Canberra Raiders!!) visit one of our Rugby League classes this morning. The students enjoyed his company and were pretty impressed to meet someone that had once stood in their shoes and also the boots of a professional player.
  • Corey Yr12, Caitlin Yr9, Amy Yr8, Sophie Yr8, Josh Yr 7 and one past student Gavin all travelled to the Gold Coast over the school holidays to compete in the Qld Junior Squash State Championships. Special mention to Josh Porter who placed 2nd in his age group and earned himself a spot in the Qld Sharks State Squash Team! He will be heading to Geelong in September to compete at the National titles.

Christopher Zilm, Executive Principal
Student Recognition | T 4050 3001 | E
  • Student Honour Roll

    Students awarded Academic Honours for the highest level of report card results.