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Rural Ambassador Will has his eye on the goal

Wednesday 15 December 2021

Will Drogemuller used the challenges of studying SACE in regional South Australia to improve opportunities for future students.

Cicilia Begbia

Web Content Display (Global)

Will Drogemuller has his sights set on achievement and has worked hard to achieve his SACE qualification so he can gain a university placement in the field of Optometry. The Moonta Area School student had a full set of SACE Stage 2 subjects this year, including Math Methods, Chemistry and Modern History.

Apart from his SACE studies, Will was busy representing his school as school captain at events like ANZAC Day and Remembrance Day, as well as participating on the Schools Governing Council.

In Year 11 Will became a Rural Youth Ambassador, having an opportunity to discuss issues in rural education. It was the first time the federal program was run in South Australia.

“Students from all over Australia met four times throughout the year and we talked about rural education and how it could be improved. We couldn’t get to travel to Adelaide much, because of COVID and all, so we ended up doing a lot of it online.

The Rural Youth Ambassadors were able to meet up in person at the start of 2021 for the first time.

“We were able to meet with the Minister for Education and brought forward all of our ideas. They were onboard with it. We are working on a business model to give them so it’s all clear.

While studying for his SACE, Will’s experiences have informed some of the potential solutions needed to improve rural education.

“Ideally, I would have studied physics in Year 11, but that wasn’t an option for us because of the limited specialist teachers at my school.

“Last year and this year we went down to Central Yorke School, which is only a 30-minute drive down the road to do Chemistry. That works well and we have a good teacher down there. 

“But it’s kind of funny, as it was one of the ideas that came up during the Rural Ambassadors program, that subject selection is obviously limited in the country because there aren’t loads of those specialised teachers.

Will represented South Australia for the program, travelling to Canberra for a summit.

“And when we got to meet our counterparts in Canberra for a national summit, we all had similar ideas to help increase subject options for regional students.

Even with all the challenges with COVID and distance, Will remains positive about how to manage SACE studies.

“Overall, my experience with SACE is pretty good though. When I was in year 10, I kept hearing how hard it was.

“But honestly, as long as you keep up with your assignments then it isn’t that bad.

“The teachers know what they’re talking about, students should make sure they listen to them. The deadlines are put in place for a reason.”