Zoe Terpening – Representing Australia in Science

Zoe TerpeningIn 2000, Zoe Terpening, School Captain was awarded the great honour of representing Australia at an International Youth Science Seminar held in Stockholm, Sweden. About 20 international delegates attended the seminar, two from Australia. The delegates also attended the Nobel Prize presentation ceremony as part of the seminar programme.

Zoe was selected, when she was in Year 11, to represent her school at a National Youth Science Forum held in Canberra. Shortly after, Zoe was selected to be Australia’s representative in Stockholm the following year. During 2000 (her HSC year) Zoe undertook a demanding training process with the Youth Science Forum and learnt from her mentor, Dr Karl Kruselnicki. After completing her HSC examinations, Zoe set off for Europe in November.

Zoe attended seminars and lectures. She wrote:

“Attending the Stockholm International Youth Science Seminar and traveling independently across Europe, saw my personal oceans of experience move far from the familiar shores of Australia.”

The highlight of the programme was the Nobel Prize presentation ceremony, banquet and ball:

“Chauffeured in limousines to the Stockholm Concert Hall, we witnessed the Swedish King, Gustav XVI present the laureates with their Nobel prizes… I understood the true humility and success of the laureates. For them the global recognition and media coverage was second to the knowledge that their discovery had purpose and their work had a sense of finality, reminding me that all achievements are truly worthwhile when they contribute to the good of a larger group rather than just attracting personal accolades.”

The trip ignited Zoe’s passion for Psychology and Forensic Medicine. She completed her Neuropsychology Clinical Doctorate in 2007.

“I now have a global awareness as a student and I am keen to help others.”

Zoe’s achievement has been matched by Tara Needham (2011) and Cheryl Chan (2014), both of whom have also represented Australia at international science seminars.


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