Congratulations to 2019 Alumna student Maeve Cairns who is one of ten Queensland State High School students to receive the prestigious 2020 TJ Ryan Memorial Medal and Scholarship.
The TJ Ryan Memorial Medal represents a long-standing tradition of recognising educational achievement in Queensland. The award is a memorial to Thomas Joseph Ryan, former teacher, barrister and Queensland Premier (1915–1919), and are provided to students who demonstrate a strong commitment to high academic achievement and outstanding leadership in both their school and the local community.
From 1927 to 1970, the TJ Ryan Memorial Scholarship was awarded to the student who achieved the highest result in the state scholarship examination. The scholarship program ceased with the end of these public examinations.
In 1993, the TJ Ryan Awards were re-introduced by the Queensland Government. The award was open to students from disadvantaged backgrounds who demonstrated academic excellence and who displayed leadership qualities through their achievements in Year 12. From 1996, the awards were expanded to all students who demonstrate outstanding leadership qualities and academic excellence during their senior years at high school.
In 2003, the award was renamed the TJ Ryan Memorial Medal and Scholarships but has also been known as the Premier's Awards and the Lilley Medal. Up to ten TJ Ryan Memorial Medal and Scholarships are awarded each year.
Each year, the Queensland Department of Education awards: up to 10 TJ Ryan Memorial Medalists who receive a scholarship of up to $10,000 over 5 years and a certificate of recognition. As well as up to 5 TJ Ryan Highly Commended awards who receive a one-off cash payment of $1,000 and a certificate of recognition, as well as, up to 20 TJ Ryan Merit certificate awards.
During her time at the Academy, Maeve was one of the Academy's leading citizens and an outstanding scholar. At the annual Academy Award celebrations Maeve was recognised for her academic excellence receiving a Gold Award in 2017, 2018 and 2019 as well as receiving an IB Learner Award in 2018 and 2019. Maeve also received an exceptional achievement award in 2018 for her selection to attend the prestigious National Youth Science Forum. Further to this, Maeve received an exceptional achievement award in 2019 for her contribution to the QAHS team being awarded 1st place at the University of Queensland Public Health Hackathon. Her outstanding achievements were formally recognised when she was awarded the Griffith Health Excellence in the International Baccalaureate Core Award in 2019. This award recognises achievements across the Extended Essay, Theory of Knowledge and CAS. Maeve has been acknowledged on the QAHS Honour Board for academic merit every semester during her time at the Academy.
Maeve also demonstrated commitment to developing her leadership capabilities as a peer mentor and tutor (2017) and her skills were recognized when she was elected as a member of the Student Executive (2018 and 2019). Maeve enjoyed service to the community and this was evident through her volunteer role in the Student2Student Reading program (2018 and 2019). She drew on and evaluated a range of competing perspectives on issues of social and political significance as demonstrated in her participation in the United Nations Youth Australia Conference (2018). Maeve further developed her global outlook as a member of the Harmony Day Committee (2018 and 2019). A talented speaker, Maeve developed her skills in inquiry and research through her participation in the QAHS 180EE mini-thesis presentation competition (2019) and was the inaugural winner of the QAHS Slam Poetry Competition (2019). Through her CAS component, Maeve siezed opportunities to develop and grow as a person including her participation in the RACI Titration Competition (2018). A talented violinist, Maeve regularly took part in lessons and competed in the QAHS Battle of the Bands (2018 and 2019). Maeve underwent extensive physical training and fostered the qualities of mateship, courage and endurance through completion of the 96km Kokoda Challenge (2017). She further balanced her academic involvement with participation in the Volleyball Club (2017 and 2018). Maeve pursued her creative development and healthy involvement through participation in the Australian Business Week Competition, Interschool Sport, the QAHS Cross Country and the Science Survivor House Challenge.
We congratulate Maeve! A worthy recipient of this very prestigious prize.
Nominations for the 2021 TJ Ryan Memorial Medal and Scholarship program are open from the beginning of Term 4. Students interested in being considered will be required to submit a self-nomination for consideration in the Academy Selection process, as each Queensland secondary school is only able to nominate one student annually.
Mrs Alita Lee