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2016 Australian Biology Olympiad Team

Maxwell Ding
James Ruse Agricultural High School

Maxwell Ding, a student at James Ruse Agricultural High School, is travelling to Vietnam to compete for Australia in the 2016 International Biology Olympiad. To be selected for the Australian team, Maxwell sat the Australian Science Olympiad Exam in biology. This in itself was a challenging and rewarding experience: “I got a lot out of preparing for and sitting the Australian Science Olympiad Exam. It’s a fantastic opportunity to evolve your knowledge of science.” Maxwell likes reading science fiction, learning languages and eating good food. His extra-curricular interests include basketball and piano. In the discipline of biology, immunology is his favourite field. “The million-year battle between our body and an ever-evolving enemy has created a complex mechanism that is the immune system, and learning about these intricate processes is fascinating,” says Maxwell. He looks up to Elon Musk and intends to study science or a health-related field, but first, the ‘Olympic Games’ for science students beckons. “Going to Hanoi, I am very excited to meet hundreds of other participants from all over the world!”


Andre Lo
James Ruse Agricultural High School
Andre Lo is one of four students representing Australia at the International Biology Olympiad in Hanoi, Vietnam. “If you are interested in science, you should definitely sit the Australian Science Olympiad Exams, as they can be a gateway to a whole world of new experiences, friendships, and fun.” Indeed, taking part in the Australian Science Olympiad Exams last year has led Andre to the Australian Science Olympiad Summer School at the Australian National University, and now to travelling overseas to compete against the brightest high school biologists from around the world. Hailing from James Ruse Agricultural High School, Andre admires Leonardo da Vinci for his scientific and artistic achievements, as well as his determination: “He did not let societal expectations restrict his dreams from flying machines to tanks.” Andre enjoys a variety of pursuits including hockey, oil painting, choral singing and programming. He is also a corporal in his school’s Australian Army Cadet Unit and is currently working towards his Gold Duke of Edinburgh Award. Andre is most interested in human biology and biotechnology, with hopes to one day combine his passions for biology and health.


Kisal Kirinde
Haileybury School
Kisal Kirinde is soon to represent Australia at the International Biology Olympiad in Hanoi, Vietnam. The Haileybury College student enjoys biology as it explores how various intricate mechanisms work harmoniously to sustain life. Kisal is an active basketball, soccer, cricket and table tennis player. Ricky Ponting is his greatest role model because he is able to bring out the best in people. Kisal likes scientific laboratory work because of its precise and often fast-paced nature: “It provides a hands-on experience of biology and is an enjoyable challenge.” In the future, he would like to pursue a career in scientific research or medicine.
“The Australian Science Olympiad Exams are definitely worth a try! You could have the opportunity to go to the Australian Science Olympiads Summer School at the Australian National University, which is an amazing experience. It’s a great way of seeing whether you would like to pursue further education or even a career in that particular science. Plus you could get selected for the Australian team to go overseas!”

Zoe Thompson
Redlands School
Zoe Thompson is heading to the International Biology Olympiad in Vietnam this year, buoyed by her experience at the International Earth Science Olympiad in Brazil last year, where she won a gold medal. The opportunity to represent Australia at these international challenges led on from the nationwide competition that is the Australian Science Olympiad Exams. “You never know what you are capable of until you give it a go. One exam could open up a world of opportunities and you could meet so many amazing people,” says Zoe. The Redlands School Year 12 student is keen on the performing arts; she is part of several bands and ensembles, as well as taking jazz and contemporary dance classes. Zoe looks to Brian Cox as a role model for his skill in communicating the awe-inspiring nature of science. She particularly enjoys biochemistry, molecular biology and genetics. “All these areas have advanced amazingly in recent years and are the future of biology.” She intends to continue studying these fields of science beyond school.
“I am looking forwards to making friends from across the world at the International Biology Olympiad, as well as experiencing the culture of Vietnam and visiting Hanoi.”