The Westerner

School dux back on old campus

Thursday, 23 February 2012

Pine Rivers State High School alumnus Matthew Bowerman with two of the school’s special award winners, Shannen Tunnicliffe and Gray Wagnercholar.

Pine Rivers State High School alumnus Matthew Bowerman with two of the school’s special award winners, Shannen Tunnicliffe and Gray Wagnercholar.

An academic high achiever returned to his old schoolyard recently to impart some of the knowledge that has led him to a career with one of the world’s biggest companies.

Matthew Bowerman, who graduated as the Dux of Pine Rivers State High School with an OP1 in 2007, returned to the Strathpine school this month to present a number of academic awards to current students.

A winner of the Australian Student Prize, given to the top 500 students across the nation, Mr Bowerman was awarded a Dean’s Scholar academic scholarship to study engineering at Queensland University of Technology. 

He is now employed by mining giant Rio Tinto as a Graduate Engineer.

In his speech to the school assembly, Mr Bowerman encouraged Pine Rivers students to set goals.

“If you set your own goal, and keep heading in that general direction, you’ll still be able to see new opportunities as they come to you,” he said.

“As you go forward, don’t be afraid to explore the occasional twists and turns, rather than coasting along the easy path.”

He also urged students to value their peers and mentors and “reach out to those who inspire you to better yourself”.

“It was my physics teacher that introduced me to engineering as a potential career and now I am fortunate to be working with Rio Tinto, one of the world’s largest mining companies,” he said.

Mr Bowerman said the opportunity to travel interstate and overseas as part of  his role with Rio Tinto was “something I intend to seize with both hands”.

As well as academic awards given to senior school students, special State Parliamentarian, Australian Defence Force Long Tan Leadership, Future Leaders Indigenous, and Rats of Tobruk awards were also presented.

The section leaders for Pine Rivers State High’s music program were also acknowledged.

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