Young science athletes to scale international heights at Olympiads

Young science athletes to scale international heights at Olympiads

Teams announcement at Parliament House, Canberra, 18 June 2018

Seventeen of Australia’s brightest student biologists, chemists, physicists and Earth scientists have made the teams to represent Australia at the UNESCO-sanctioned International Science Olympiads in July and August. They will compete in the world’s toughest science competitions against some of the smartest kids in the world.

Two of the students putting their skills to the test for Australia will be turning 16 this year. They have outperformed thousands of older talented students in selection exams and training to represent Australia in physics and chemistry.

The youngest competitor on the International Physics Olympiad team this year, 16-year-old Alicia Lieng from Sydney’s Meriden school said, “I am passionate about physics and forever grateful to my science teacher for encouraging me to sit the Australian Science Olympiad exams because it has opened up for me so many fantastic opportunities.”

The Olympians will receive their Australian team blazers from the Assistant Minister for Science, Jobs and Innovation, Senator the Hon Zed Seselja, at an official team announcement ceremony at Parliament House in Canberra, on Monday 18 June.

The Year 10, 11 and 12 students picked to compete this year represent 11 schools from NSW, VIC, and the ACT. They have spent a year in exams and intensive training to make the cut. They outperformed more than 6,000 other students from more than 280 schools in the qualifying exams, making a shortlist of 91 to attend a two-week summer school at the Australian National University in preparation for the Olympiads.

The students will test their skills against the world’s best in competitions taking place in Iran (Biology), Slovakia and the Czech Republic (Chemistry), Thailand (Earth Science) and Portugal (Physics).

“The Australian Science Olympiads program is a well-recognised opportunity for learning growth and achievement. It captures the attention of high-performing students at a critical stage, challenging them to advance their knowledge and skills at an international level. For most, it marks the beginning of a successful future in STEM,” says Ruth Carr, Executive Director of Australian Science Innovations.

Students inspired to win a place at next year’s International Science Olympiads will have the chance to represent Australia at the Asian Physics Olympiad that is coming to Australia for the first time in 2019. Students can register for the Australian Science Olympiad Exams by 18 July at

The Australian team members for the International Science Olympiads are:

International Biology Olympiad
15 to 22 July, Tehran, Iran
Sai Campbell Year 12 Presbyterian Ladies’ College VIC
Shanni Chen Year 12 Caulfield Grammar School VIC
Luke Hemmingsen Year 12 Burgmann Anglican School ACT
Jessica Law Year 12 University High School VIC
International Chemistry Olympiad
19 to 29 July, Prague, Czech Republic & Bratislava, Slovakia
Kieran Connor Year 12 Sydney Grammar School NSW
Richard Huang Year 10 James Ruse Agricultural High School NSW
Raymond Li Year 12 James Ruse Agricultural High School NSW
Phillip Liang Year 12 James Ruse Agricultural High School NSW
International Physics Olympiad
21 to 29 July, Lisbon, Portugal
Stephen Catsamas Year 11 Marcellin College VIC
Boris Deletic Year 12 John Monash Science School VIC
Alicia Lieng Year 12 Meriden NSW
Hugo McCahon-Boersma Year 12 Sydney Grammar School NSW
Vladimir Mikho Year 12 John Monash Science School VIC
International Earth Science Olympiad
8 to 17 August, Kanchanaburi, Thailand
Rebecca Whittle Year 11 Abbotsleigh NSW
Wayne Wong Year 12 James Ruse Agricultural High School NSW
Rose Zhang Year 12 Narrabundah College ACT
Kim Zheng Year 12 James Ruse Agricultural High School NSW

Learn more about the Australian Science Olympiad Competition at:


Debra Maynard on 0407 299 007 or 02 9665 7182, or

Yelena Ramli on 02 6125 6282.