Riverina students impress at Cobram Secondary College.

By Daniel Hughes

Barooga's Freyja Black is one of just 20 people from across Australia and the Asia Pacific region to be offered place in the Victorian College of Arts’ elusive Bachelor of Fine Arts course.

Miss Black was among 500 graduating high school students who auditions for one of the limited places.

She will major in theatre, and will be based at the college's South Bank campus in Melbourne.

“The course is notoriously hard to get in to, so I was incredibly excited to get in to that,” she said.

“I remember telling people when I was in Year 7 that I always dreamt of going to the Victorian College of Arts. And now, here I am, doing exactly that.

“I've been in at least one show in Shepparton each year since I was in Year 7.

“I am very fortunate to have parents who were willing to drive me to and from Shepparton each week for the shows I performed in. They've been very supportive of me.

“I've found a place in Melbourne to live so I'm very excited to get started next year.”

While her passion is in performing, Miss Black also places great emphasis on her academic pursuits.

The Cobram Secondary School students completed the year with an Australian Tertiary Admission Rank (ATAR) of 81.85.

That effort will make the transition to university a little easier, with Miss Black being awarded the school's Principal Scholarship for Melbourne University.

Miss Black said helping to relieve the pressures of exams was her decision to study some VCE subjects early in her senior schooling.

“A lot of people get burnt out from the exams, but I came out of it alright,” she said.

“I did two VCE subjects - biology and music performance, concentrating on singing - in Year 11, and then a full list of subjects again this year. I knew what to expect going in to this year, so I could better prepare myself.

“I did a lot of study leading up to the exams. Surprisingly I didn't stress going in for anything but my English exam.

“In total I did seven VCE subjects however, they only take the best six so I think it put me in a good position.”

Fellow Southern Riverina-based student Ellie Jones, from Tocumwal, was also a top performer at Cobram Secondary School this year.

Miss Jones was awarded Dux for receiving the school's highest Australian Tertiary Admission Rank (ATAR), with a score of 92.05.

It was a big year for Miss Jones, who was also rewarded for her extensive volunteer work in the wider community.

She was awarded the 2019 Victorian Curriculum And Assessment Authority's VCE Leadership award.

Miss Jones, who was unavailable to speak with the Southern Riverina News, has accepted to study a double degree in public policy and development studies at the Australian National University.