2021 International Biology Olympiad Team
Meet the 2021 International Biology Olympiad Team!
Audrey Sutidjan has always enjoyed the tangible nature of science and watching its fields progress. When she found out about the Australian Science Olympiads, she thought it would be a great way to expand her knowledge and challenge herself. She has now earned a place alongside three other talented students on the 2021 Australian Biology Olympiad team.
“The best thing about the Olympiads is getting to meet other people from a variety of backgrounds who share my interest in biology,” she says. “We decided to coordinate our Zoom backgrounds as a class for every lecture. It was a great bonding experience, and lots of fun too!”
So far, she has found absorbing a large amount of content the most challenging aspect of the program. “Some lectures were particularly intensive, but they were always the ones from which I took away the most knowledge,” she says.
Science aside, Audrey is on her school’s Ultimate Frisbee team and is also part of their senior vocal ensemble. She also loves drawing, knitting and playing the guitar.
Her greatest role model in life is her father. “He has a great wealth of knowledge. He’s always been able to answer all my questions and teach me all the soft skills that help me adapt to life outside the classroom,” she says. “He’s instilled a strong work ethic in me and I aspire to follow him in my career.”
In future, Audrey wants a job that can meet the demands of an increasingly technological society. She’s currently considering careers in data analytics, data science, biotechnology and bioinformatics.
From a young age, Jackson Fu developed an interest in how biology and chemistry could save and improve people’s lives through medicine. When he found out about the Australian Science Olympiads program, he saw it as a fun and challenging way to learn more about science. He has now earned a place as one of four talented students on the 2021 Australian Biology Olympiad team.
Though he found learning all the new biology content at Summer School difficult, he has appreciated being able to apply his newfound knowledge. “Rather than needing to rote memorise huge amounts of content, the most important part is actually knowing how to apply my knowledge to solve new problems,” he says. “I find this to be an excellent way to test my knowledge but more importantly, also an enjoyable challenge.”
In his STEM pursuit, Jackson looks up to one of his school’s alumni, who also excelled in the Olympiads and now runs his own science tutoring business. “To be so successful both academically and entrepreneurially takes good work ethic,” he says. “He is particularly inspiring in how he has managed to juggle many responsibilities so well.”
In his free time, he likes to listen to music and solve maths or science puzzles. He also competes in other STEM competitions, like the Australian Mathematics Challenge and OzCLO. Science aside, he enjoys playing chess, table tennis and badminton.
Jackson hopes to enter a career in medicine as it combines his interest in the sciences with the practical application of helping others in need.
Lior Yoffe has been passionate about biology and chemistry from a young age as he enjoys “trying to understand how our world works and what factors drive what happens around us.” Lior saw the Australian Science Olympiad program as an opportunity to challenge himself and further develop his skills and understanding of science. Today, he has earned a place as one of four talented students on the 2021 Australian Biology Olympiad team.
Throughout his Olympiad experience, Lior has enjoyed meeting new people and making connections with so many likeminded students who share his interests. The Summer Schools were a definite highlight for him, finding them both challenging and enriching. “The large volume of information and quick pace over two weeks of learning was definitely one of the most enjoyable yet difficult experiences of the entire program,” he says.
In his STEM pursuit, he looks up to David Attenborough. “His commitment to something he is passionate about and eagerness for knowledge and discovery is something I strive to emulate,” he says.
Aside from science, Lior enjoys reading, swimming and playing basketball. He is also a member of his school’s Prefect group.
In future, he hopes to pursue his passion for biology and life sciences through a career in healthcare or research.
After hearing two of her peers talk about their experience at the Summer School, Maya Anderson was inspired to get involved with the Olympiads program. “The thought of getting to spend two weeks learning more science and meeting other young scientists sounded like a dream,” she says.
Now, Maya has secured a place as one of four young talents on the 2021 Australian Biology Olympiad team. “I didn’t think I would get in but I wanted to try anyway … I am so incredibly glad that I did,” she says.
During her time at the Olympiads Summer School, she loved gaining new knowledge of biology and having opportunities to apply it. “It was mind blowing in the best way possible,” she says. “I learnt about so many interesting processes and systems and love when all the separate concepts fell into place.”
Inspired by the amazing female scientists who came before her, Maya hopes to enter a career in STEM. In particular, she looks up to Katherine Johnson and Rosalind Franklin. “I’m inspired by the way they’ve made discoveries that have changed the world and the way they succeeded despite all barriers,” she says.
While she is currently aiming for a job in research, she has also considered becoming a doctor. “I would be able to make a difference in people’s lives while continually learning about the intricacies of the human body,” she says.
Outside of school, Maya enjoys gymnastics and fencing, both of which she has competed at the national level in. She also likes debating.