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Top Talks kicks off the Season of Excellence 2019

Kailyn, Luca, Stephanie and Ryan

L-R: Kailyn O'Connor, Mornington Secondary College,
Luca Irmici, Fitzroy High School,
Stephanie Barito, The University High School,
and Ryan Walker, Melbourne High School

The VCE Season of Excellence 2019 has officially begun, with the inaugural Top Talks taking place on Friday 15 February at the State Library Victoria.

The Top Talks launch showcased four outstanding research studies by 2018 VCE Extended Investigation students, and also featured an address by a 2016 VCE Extended Investigation student.

A full capacity audience heard a wide range of top scoring VCE research topics, including how the National Disability Insurance Scheme has affected families of children with autism and the effectiveness of recycling signage in a secondary school context.

The audience was also treated to an insightful discussion between the students and host Maxine McKew.

Stephanie Barito, who completed the Victorian Certificate of Education (VCE) at The University High School, presented her research on the effects of ultraviolet irradiation on diseased canola seeds. She described her experience of Top Talks as ‘really rewarding’.

‘I think the most valuable thing was meeting all these people, networking and talking to them about their research and meeting the future students,’ she said.

Fellow presenter Luca Irmici, a former VCE student of Fitzroy High School, presented his research on the national identity of East Timor. He later explained that Top Talks was his first time public speaking. When asked how he felt after the presentation, he said: ‘Well, I feel honoured.’

‘It’s been a great experience, which has helped me to gain more confidence when presenting in front of people.

‘To be able to share the extensive research that took me nine months to do, with so much stress and also enjoyment, has been rewarding. Hopefully, other students will learn from it,’ said Luca.

The Season of Excellence is the VCAA’s annual five-month festival showcasing outstanding VCE student work in the fields of research, visual and performing arts, design and technologies.

For more information, visit the Season of Excellence and VCE Extended Investigation webpages.