GVGS Dux 2023, Xavier Schmedje

Xavier Schmedje started at GVGS in 2018, commencing Year 7 with both old and new friends.

“It was nice because I already knew some people who were starting at the School, but it was also a good opportunity to meet new people,” he says. “I’ve always thought the School was inclusive, welcoming and that there were lots of good opportunities. From sports to science competitions, there were always a lot of options and chances for me to bond with people who have similar interests.”

In 2023, Xavier was both School Captain and Dux. He says his time in the most senior student leadership position helped him to fine-tune his organisational and public speaking skills.

“Being School Captain was a fulfilling experience and it definitely made my final year more enjoyable because I had this other responsibility outside of studying to focus my time and energy on,” he says. “Having the younger students feel comfortable enough to come over and say hello was really nice. They were looking at me the same way I had looked at past School Captains and that was a good feeling to have.”

With numerous academic, leadership and sporting accolades to his name, his years of dedication were aptly reflected in his ATAR of 99.90. Reflecting back on his achievements in his final year of high school, Xavier credits his success to realistic work-life balance.

“It helped to have a few sets days per week locked in where I knew I wouldn’t be studying at all. It meant I could switch off and enjoy what I wanted to do, like playing sport,” he says. “It’s all about time management in VCE and I think it’s important to have something to look forward to that isn’t study – having a break from that stress is key.”

Xavier also notes the importance of both perseverance and self-care when faced with so many competing priorities.

“The hardest part was when you got a little bit behind and you felt like all of a sudden you had this huge hill in front of you that you had to climb. Being aware of that, chipping away consistently and gradually working through what needed to be done was how I got through it,” he says. “I also made sure I got plenty of sleep and I’d never let myself stay up past 10:30pm. Even if I was stressing about something I’d make sure I prioritised getting to bed so I could be ready for the next day.”

In 2024, Xavier will commence the Bachelor of Engineering (Honours) Accelerated Masters Program at Monash University and will live on campus at Mannix College. Xavier also received a scholarship from Monash University in recognition of his achievements