Year 12 student Diyar Hafedn is thrilled to have finally finished school and looking for a university degree in medicine. Photo: Rosie O'Brien/The Observer
Year 12 student Diyar Hafedn is thrilled to have finally finished school and looking for a university degree in medicine. Photo: Rosie O'Brien/The Observer Rosie O'Brien

From Iraq and Dubai to an OP5 at Chanel

THE end of high school has been an exciting time for hundreds of Gladstone students but also daunting as the official OP (overall position) results were released in the wee hours of Saturday morning.

No one knows the pressures more than 19-year-old Diyar Hafedn from Chanel College.

The graduate said it was a nerve-racking wait to see her future determined.

"I made myself sit up on Friday night until 1am so that I could view the results," she said.

"As soon as I saw the number, five, I went screaming into my parent's room and my mum was crying with relief."

It's been a long process for Diyar to get to this point, after having to learn English as a second language.

"I've lived in Iraq at age 10, Dubai at 16 and now to Australia which has been brilliantly different but challenging," she said.

"I'm proud of myself because Arabic is my fluent language, so completing school and OP in English is an achievement."

To get to this point Diyar's father suggested she stay back and repeat a couple of years at school so she could really excel.

"I was going from an A to C when I arrived in Australia and the pressure to perform was enormous, but with the help of a translator I've done quite well," she said.

"Seven subjects, including Arabic, and working my a**e off has gotten me to achieve a five, which is exactly what I need to get into medicine."

Despite failing the nationwide QCS test, due to time constraints and the language barrier, studying physics and biochemistry pushed Diyar's OP up from a nine to five.

"Out of 85 students, it was just myself and one other boy doing the three sciences," she said.

"With the way it works, Channel's average of a B for the test meant that my mark was better.

"We had in total three OP 1s, and 30-40 students got a score under five, which is a first for many years, so we've been told."

Diyar's dream is to continue in her father's footsteps of becoming a doctor, after seeing him attend to many wounded civilians back home in Iraq.

"I'm hoping to study medicine at James Cook University," she said.

"I've applied to them so now we wait and see, but if all else fails I'd love to do physio or medical imaging, and maybe move to Brisbane to study."

What is an OP?

An OP is a student's position in a state-wide rank order based on their overall achievement in Authority subjects.

It indicates how well a student has done in comparison to all other OP-eligible students in Queensland and is used for tertiary entrance purposes only. Students are placed in one of 25 OP bands from OP1 (highest) to OP25 (lowest).



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